Skip to main content

Full text of "Israel and the Gentiles, contributions to the history of the Jews from the ..."

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at http : //books . google . com/| 





3 



e^ 



a 



r 



1 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL AND THE GENTILES. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISEAEL AND THE GENTILES. 

CONTRIBUTIONS 

TO TRB 

HISTORY OF THE JEWS 

FROM THE EARLIBST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY. 



BY 

DR. ISAAC DA COSTA, 

OP AMSTERDAM. 



' A travera tant d'^U, d'Ages de lieoz divert, 
Avec leur vieille loi parcourant Tunlvers, 
Seals ils tont demeures sur ta bate profbnde, 
Comma cea rleax rochers contemporaint du monde." 

Deli LLC. 



LONDON: 

JAMES NISBET AND CO., 21, BERNERS STREET. 

HDCCCL. 



Digitized by 



Google 



MACXITTOaH, PRINTER. 
QREAT NEW-«TREET, X.OKOOK. 



Digitized by 



Google 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 



It is, I believe, customary for- a translator to 
say a few words in introducing an author 
whose work is in this manner ushered before 
the public in a new garb ; and I cannot thus 
mention Dr. Da Costa, without expressing my 
wish that the reader of his book may, even in 
a small degree, participate in the vivid enjoy- 
ments which I myself have derived from the 
gifted writer's own conversation and corre- 
spondence. 

In the author of " Israel and the Gentiles," 
it is not only the poet and the man of letters 
with whom we become acquainted, neither 
is it human wisdom alone that flows with 
eloquence from his lips. We recognise in 
him the devoted Christian, the true servant of 
his "elder brother according to the flesh," 
whom he worships as Messiah, his King, and 
his God. We behold in him one who has 
left riches and honour, and counted them as 



Digitized by 



Google 



VI TEANSLATOE S PEEFACE. 

nought SO jbhat he might win Christ, and 
whose life is spent in diffusing around him 
the light of the knowledge of God. 

These sketches, as Dr. Da Costa himself 
has remarked, are incomplete, especially the 
latter part, where he could hardly have can- 
vassed the characters of distinguished men 
who are still aUve. With respect to the want 
of strict chronological arrangement which 
may he ohservahle in some parts of the work, 
he wishes to state his conviction, that history 
ought to follow the connexion of circumstances 
rather than the precise sequence of time ; and 
he has chosen, therefore, to place facts and 
opinions in certain groups, in preference to a 
close adherence to the ordinary more exact 
method. It is, perhaps, necessary to mention 
that one or two passages of Scripture have 
been translated afresh from the original 
Hebrew, instead of being copied from the 
authorized version. 

MART J. KENNEDY. 



44, Norfolk Square^ Brighton, 
December 10, 1849. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PREFACE. 



It may, perhaps, not be quite without interest 
to my English readers to know that I am, by 
birth, a descendant of one of those Jewish 
families who, in the seventeenth century, 
sought refuge in the Netherlands from the 
persecutions of Spain and Portugal. From my 
earliest youth the history of my forefathers 
has been an object of meditation and study ; 
the modem part, especially, first drew my 
attention, and both my heart and imagination 
were captivated by the task of exploring the 
annals of Israel's dispersion and exile. 

I sought eagerly for an answer to the 
important question, What can be the reason 
of my people's continuing to be a nation, after 
having lost all the requisites usually essential 
to a national existence? Through the merciful 



Digitized by 



Google 



Vlll PREFACE. 

guidance of the God of my fathers,tlie attempt 
to solve this question became, in his hand, the 
means of leading me to the knowledge of His 
blessed Son, the Lord Jesus. I will not here 
relate the various circumstances which con- 
tributed to prepare my mind to receive con- 
viction and faith ; this instance will suffice for 
our present purpose. 

Amid the atmosphere of incredulity and 
false religious opinion in which I lived, my 
researches into the records of my ancestors, 
and of my nation, brought me, by degrees, to 
acknowledge the historical truth of the Old 
and, subsequently, of the New Testament. I 
was led insensibly, from thought to thought, 
from induction to induction, till I came to the" 
simple and certain conclusion, that the 
wonderful and unprecedented circumstance 
of the existence of the Jewish nation and 
their varied doctrines, during the space of 
3,000 or 4,000 years, could oijy be accounted 
for by admitting these three truths: — Their 
election by God as his people, on account 
of that Just One who W£is to be born of the 
seed of Abraham ; their present misery, be- 
cause of their rejection of Messiah; and the 
divine origin of the prophecies, foretelling 
their long period of suffering, as well as their 



Digitized by 



Google 



PREFACE. IX 

future restoratiou and conversion. Thus, from 
mere family interests, was I led, by the provi- 
dence of God, to trace the history of my 
people up to the call of Abraham, and to 
follow it from thence to the coming of Jesus 
Christ, the son of David, the light of the 
Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel. 

More than a quarter of a century has now 
elapsed since the epoch which decided the fate 
of my whole life, and yet Israel's history, 
as written in the book of books, or found in 
the scattered records of their 1800 years of 
exile, has never ceased to occupy my thoughts, 
and to employ a portion of my time. While 
entering into the details of this wondrous 
history, I have discovered more and more 
its perfect harmony with J;he dispensations of 
God, and the declarations of His Word ; and 
the Jewish nation has been brought to my 
view more strikingly as an abiding testimony 
to the truth of the Christian religion, a living 
commentary upon the Scriptures, a certain 
pledge of the entire ftilfilment of prophecy. 

The sketch of Jewish history presented in 
these pages, and viewed in the light of Chris- 
tian truth, may perhaps appear as foolishness, 
and an offence to my brethren concerning the 
flesh; but in taking up the book, they will 



Digitized by 



Google 



X PREFACE. 

find, nevertheless, that it still bears the im- 
press of its author's Israelitish origin. 

Surely, in confessing myself, by the grace of 
God, a^ disciple of Jesus Christ, I did not 
cease — nay, then I only began, to rejoice that 
I was indeed a Jew. 

And now, let my book speak for itself; in 
giving it the title of a sketch, I have dis- 
avowed every pretension to its being considered 
a regular history, or even an attempt at one. 
A universal history of the Jews in modem 
times, relating their wanderings, and entering 
into the details of their manners, customs, 
literature, and biography, on the scale of 
Basnage, but written in a more correct and 
interesting manner, with the additional light 
which time and science have now thrown 
upon the subject, is still to be desired. What 
is here brought forward, can only be consi- 
dered as the contribution of a stone to the 
building, for we have but attempted a glance, 
into the chaos of materials, though a glance 
happily directed, may, perhaps, lead to a dis- 
covery valuable to science, or the confirmation 
of faith. 

In my " Lectures on Jewish History," which 
form the groundwork of this sketch, I have 
endeavoured to notice especially the relations 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



FBEFACE. XI 

of my people with all the nations of the 
world, from the earliest days of their existence 
to the present time ; to remark upon what the 
Gentiles are for the Jews, either as means of 
instruction or of chastisement, and what Israel 
has been, and still is, for the Gentiles, either 
as witnesses to the truth, and victims of their 
own unbelief, or as the people kept apart, to 
impart light and salvation to the Gentiles. 

The subject will be divided into four parts. 
The First Book will give a glance over the 
principal features of the Jewish history, both 
in Palestine and beyond its borders, before 
the destruction of Jerusalem, with a short 
account of the subsequent fate of that city. 

The Second Book gives a view of the Jev^dsh 
people in their double captivity of the East 
and West, from the fall of their temple and 
country, to the close of the Middle Ages. 

The Third Book wiU contain a history of 
the Jewish exiles in Spain and Portugal. If 
this part appear to be more elaborately 
worked out than the rest, it is not only on 
account of the numerous sources of informa- 
tion to which the author's birth and parentage 
gave him access ; but also because a multitude 
of facts, not generally known, form character- 



Digitized by 



Google 



XU FEEFACE. 

istic features in the records of this portion of 
Israel's exiles. 

The Fourth Book views the position of the 
Jews, in their connexion with the Beformation 
of the sixteenth century, the revolution of the 
eighteenth, and the great social and political 
movements of the present day; with the 
glorious advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, the 
King of the Jews, and the establishment of 
his kingdom. 

May the Lord bless the reading of these 
pages to all who take them in hand, whether 
Jew or Christian, Israelite or Grentile ! Amen. 



Digitized by 



Google 



INTRODUCTION. 



From a very early period of the world's his- 
tory, we find a people living amidst the 
nations, and conversing with them in close 
connexion, yet kept completely apart, and 
preserved unmixed, by means of characteristics 
exclusively their own. 

This people is the only nation that can, 
vnth certainty, trace its origin, through one 
family, to a single individual. They call 
themselves the children of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob. A doubt has never been raised as 
to the reality of this origin, so strongly has it 
been established by the records of tradition 
and history. Yet, although no nation dis* 
putes with them this honour, no one envies 
them its possession, so entirely has the hatred 
of all degraded a title of the highest honour 
into a sign of reproach, contempt, and ex« 
elusion* 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



2 INTRODUCTION. 

As children of Abraham, guardians and 
confessors of the law of Moses and the predic- 
tions of the prophets, they bear by a personal 
mark the testimony of their genealogy, in 
the ordinance of circumcision. As disciples of 
Moses, they have now for thirty-four centuries 
raised the cry, " Hear, O Israel, the Lord our 
God is one God;'* and every Sabbath-day, 
even to the present time, Moses and the pro- 
phets are read in their synagogues, in the 
same order as when the Apostle St. James 
mentions the fact 1800 years ago, as already, 
in his time, an ancient custom. 

They are an Eastern nation, and after hun- 
dreds and thousands of years, though natu- 
ralized in the west, they still bear the features 
of an Oriental extraction. Their strongly- 
marked countenance exhibits, on the one 
hand, their relationship with the Arabs of the 
desert, the children of Abraham by Ishmael ; 
and bears, on the other, in its deeply-stamped 
impress of suffering, a memorial of the cruelty 
and oppression of a long succession of ages. 

They have ever been a people of sojauvners ; 
their first father sojourned in the country pro** 
mised to his posterity, and when themselves 
settled in Canaan, their religion still led them 
to preserve the feeling that they were but 



Digitized by 



Google 



INTRODUCTION. 8 

'* sojourners in the land," Long before the 
fall of Jerusalem, and their entire dispersion, 
numbers of them already sojourned in Assyria, 
Babylonia, and Persia ; thus we read of Daniel 
and Nehemiah, at the Courts of those nations; 
and in later times, we find Israelites estab* 
lished in Egypt and Macedonia, and enrolled 
as Roman citizens, both in the great city itself, 
and in the provinces. Since the final destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, they have become acclima* 
tized tq, every region, and while scattered 
among every diversity of nation, have assumed 
something of the character of the people 
among whom they dwelt. Nevertheless, a 
principle of unity has prevailed throughout 
the whole dispersion of Israel, and they have 
remained in every climate, and among every 
nation, representatives of what all mankind 
really are — descendants of one &mily and one 
father. 

Two powerful religions derive, though in a 
very different manner, their origin from the 
existence of this people. Both in the Gospel 
of truth, and the imposture of the Koran, the 
Others of Israel are recognised as the fathers 
of their respective fSsuth. In both these creeds 
the prophets of Israel are honoured as men of 
B 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



4 IKTROpUCTION. 

God, and the City of Jerusalem as a holy city. 
But neither from this high antiquity, nor from 
the possession of a history full of touching and 
sublime incidents, and still shadowing forth 
the distant fiiture, has any benefit accrued to 
the Israelite, either in the East or West 
The names even which God gave to his ancient 
people, S3 honourable memorials, the nations, 
both Mahometans and professing Christians, 
have turned into a by-word, so that Israelite 
has become a term of reproach, and Jew (son 
of Judah) a contemptuous epithet. 

What a theme for anxious contemplation to 
the whole world, is the people whose history 
spreads over 4000 out of the whole 6000 
years that contain the records of the human 
race I while even the modem part of it can be 
traced back during a period of 1800 years ! 

Were there now in existence even a single 
individual who could with certainty trace his 
pedigree from one of the ancient Greek or 
Roman families, with what care and interest 
would such a circumstance be investigated, as 
a living remnant of antiquity ! And yet Israel, 
the very Israel whose annals extend to the 
most remote periods of sacred and profane his- 
tory, still remains, not as a remnant only, con« 



Digitized by 



Google 



INTRODUpriOK. 5 

sisting of a few solitary individuals or families, 
but the whole body of the 'people still exists, 
scattered over every part of our globe. 

To the Ghristian especially, how deeply in- 
teresting a subject for meditation and study t 
In this people he beholds involuntary wit- 
nesses to the truth of all that Gbd has spoken 
to man, from the beginning, and through suc- 
cessive ages, concerning his Anointed. He 
sees in this people the very flesh and blood 
from which Jesus Christ himself, as the Son 
of man, became incarnate. He sees a living 
proof of the truth of prophecies fulfilled, and 
of those yet unaccomplished, as well as a 
visible monument of the historic realities upon 
which the Christian feith is based. 

The marked distiuction of the Jewish people 
from every other nation, is a result of the sepa- 
ration ordained and established by Grod him- 
self between them and all the other families of 
the earth, who were, nevertheless, to be blessed 
in their seed. Their religious worship, their 
customs, their feasts, and their fasts, are all 
abiding monuments of the authenticity of the 
Old Testament. 

Their constant expectation of the Messiah, is 
an effect of the reality of the promise given, and 
ofttimes repeated, to their fathers, woven, as it 



Digitized by 



Google 



6 INTBOpUCTION. 

were, into the very tissae of that Scripture which 
was gradually enrolled during the whole na- 
tional existence of the people of Israel. Their 
final dispersion, and prolonged misery, during 
the eighteen centuries in which they have 
existed, without King, without temple, with- 
out sacrifice, without country, — ^but also with- 
out teraphim, and without idols, shows the 
Divine origin of their own fulfilled prophecies 
respecting Him whom they have waited for, 
and yet rejected, — whom they have pierced, 
and whom they will one day adore. 

Still continuing a people, though deprived 
of all the usual essentials of a national exist- 
ence, they have survived the most powerful 
nations and dynasties of the world, while sunk 
to the lowest depth of humiliation under the 
very feet of the Oentiles. The Infidel even 
must acknowledge, that in this there is some- 
thing strange^ startling, wonderful! but the 
Christian recognises with a feeling of rever- 
ence, in the imperishable endurance of this 
despised and often despicable people, the 
finger of that God by whose word alone they 
have been preserved, though, according to the 
principles of human reason, and all the known 
laws and processes of nature, they must infal- 
libly have perished. In meditating on this 



Digitized by 



Google 



INTBODUCTIOK. 7 

subject, the Christian is led back to a contem« 
plation of other harmonies subsisting in God's 
varied dealings with his people in former ages. 
How perfect, for instance, is the coincidence 
of the seed given to Abraham, not according 
to the course of nature, but in fulfilment of the 
Divine promise, and the birth of a Saviour, 
fulfilling to the very letter the word spoken by 
the ^ophet, '' Behold, a virgin shall conceive ! '* 
As the Israelites are the only people able to 
trace their origin from a single family, and a 
single patriarch, and thus follow up their 
descent from the father of mankind ; so, on 
the other hand, are they the only people who 
have preserved, through a succession of cen* 
turies, a definite expectation of their future 
destiAy, to which they have clung through 
every period of their long dispersion. This 
expectation rests upon the same prophetic 
Scriptures which foretold and described their 
present state of exile and suffering, which also 
announced the painful death and future glory 
of the Messiah, and with that glory connects 
the blessings of a spiritual and national resto- 
ration for Israel, light over the whole world, 
and peace upon all nations united with the 
andent people of God, beneath the sceptre of 
the Son of David and the Son of God. The 



Digitized by 



Google 



8 INTEODUCTlONi 

Gospel confirms the prophecies and seals afresh 
these promises. The Apostle St. Paul, in the 
eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, 
beautifully concentrates, as in a focus, the pro- 
phetic rays of the Old Testament, when he 
says, "If the casting away of them be the 
reconciling of the world, what shall the receiv- 
ing of them be, but life from the dead ] The 
fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, and so 
all Israel shall be saved.*' In these few words 
a key is given by which the future destiny of 
the nations is laid open to us, while the pro- 
phecies of the Old and New Testament com- 
bine to form a complete commentary upon 
these words, which are, in fact, the centre of 
the whole future history of Israel and the 
Gentiles. Surely, when we rightly regard the 
annals of this people, reaching backward to 
the most remote antiquity, and looking for- 
ward to a* futurity which has been long pre- 
dicted, with its course lighted up by the 
gradual fulfilment of prophecy, we should not 
overlook the details of its darkest and saddest 
periods. It is, without doubt, a history of 
sorrows, and of almost unprecedented misery ; 
for it tells of a people of sorrows on account 
of their sins. But should not this very pecu- 
liarity give it fresh interest in the eyes of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



INTBOBUCTION. 9 

Christian, who rests his salvation, his hope, 
his ally upon a Man of sorrows also, but of 
sorrow without sin ? 

In our days especially, the most striking 
circumstances and the most startling signs of 
the times concur to increase, in a remarkable 
degree, feelings of interest in the Jewish 
people. The times in which we live are such, 
that no one can deny their portent of a future, 
to which each day seems ready to give birth. 
A great inquiry agitates the minds and stirs 
the hearts of many as to what will be the final 
issue of all the revolutionary movements and 
complications which are now taking place, 
while, at the same time, the opposite prin- 
ciples of faith and Infidelity, superstition and 
science, combine to multiply daily changes in 
our moral and social life. The Christian 
alone knows the result to which all this tends, 
while, in singleness of heart, he examines and 
ponders the prophetic words of his Lord and 
Saviour, — that he shall come on the clouds of 
heaven, and then shall be fulfilled all that the 
prophets and holy men of the Old Testament 
have spoken concerning the Messiah of Israel, 
the Desire of aU nations. He shall reign as 
King over the house of Jacob ; the Lord God 
shall give him the throne of his father David. 
B 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

He shall reign from sea to sea, and from the 
river to the ends of the earth. Under his 
sceptre shall the twelve tribes of Israel be 
again united ; all the nations of the earth shall 
share in their peace and glory, and bovF toge- 
ther in submiBsion to that sceptre of justice, 
truth, and love. The whole earth shall be 
covered with the knowledge of God, and the 
light of his glory; the wicked, and all the 
powers of wickedness, shall be destroyed, and 
the prince of this world cast out. Jerusalem 
shall rise, covered with glory, from her state 
of humiliation, as the dead who have believed 
in Christ come forth from their graves. The 
last book of the Bible sums up all these bless* 
ings in its closing words : ^^ I Jesus am the root 
and offspring of David, and the bright and 
morning star. Behold, I came quickly.'' 

Never, tiU our days, has the attention of 
men been so forcibly drawn to the Scripture 
prophecies of the Old and New Testament, nor 
the hearts of Christians so prepared to look 
for their accomplishment. This diligent search, 
this waking up of attention, forms the charac- 
teristic of a new era in the Christian Church, 
and the period from which we may date its 
commencement, is the latter part of the eigh- 
teenth century, at precisely the same period 



Digitized by 



Google 



INTKODUCTIOlf. 11 

'when the epoch of revolutiond began in the 
history of the world. This coincidence is the 
more worthy of remark, because at the mo- 
ment when Infidelity is shaking the very 
foundation of the Papacy, and under the guise 
of philosophy and rationalism, threatening 
to undermine and endanger the Protestant 
Churches,-*-behold at once a fresh banner 
raised, and a new rallying point marked out, 
to direct the ^th, the zeal, and the exertions 
of the Christian. On all sides, voices are 
heard, calling to a deeper and more careful 
investigation of the Revelation of St. John, 
and to more literal and faithful interpreta^ 
tions of the prophecies of Israel, which pro- 
mise not only individual conversion and future 
bliss, but also the visible glory of Christ, and 
his reign upon earth, over Israel and all the 
nations. All this has naturally led to a deeper 
interest in the history and the fate of Israel ; 
and this interest is a more remarkable sign of 
the times, because it coincides with the striv* 
ing of spirit which is now taking place 
among the ancient people themselves. All 
the changes that have occurred in Europe, 
since the latter part of the eighteenth century, 
and those which are even now happening, com- 
bine to alter the whole social and political posi-^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



12 INTEODUCTIOK. 

tion of the Jewish people, and to form a new era 
in the annals of Israel's exile. The Talmud, 
which like a massive wall defended the Jew 
from every Christian influence, is now tottering 
and giving way in many places. In the midst 
of Israel, voices are heard asking for a modified 
and more popular form of worship, in imitation 
of the Christian nations among whom they 
dwell. Hence has arisen in some of the 
people, an almost total negligence of the 
memorials and traditions of their fathers; 
while to others, an increasing opportunity is 
afforded for the study and reception of the 
Gospel. For several years past, the number 
of Jewish converts to the Christian faith, from 
all classes, has been great; still greater has 
been the increase of closer ties than the mere 
commercial relation formerly subsisting be* 
tween the Jew and the people of the country 
in which he lived. 

Among the Jews themselves, fresh vigour 
displays itself in every department of the arts 
and sciences ; in Germany, the sons of Israel 
are distinguished professors of philosophy, 
letters, astronomy, and jurisprudence. Like 
their fore&thers, before the catastrophe which 
put an end to their political existence, the 
descendants of Abraham for the last half- 



Digitized by 



Google 



INTRODUCTION* 13 

century have again borne arms with honour. 
The poetic harp of Israel sounds for the first 
time to European accents, and Israelitish 
names are found among the greatest masters 
of music in our day. In almost every part of 
Europe, Israelites afford to the country of 
their sojourn the benefit, not of riches only, 
but of talent, genius, and learning. In Ger* 
many, they are obtaining a release from every 
legal restraint, and in England, from whence 
they were in the thirteenth century ignomini* 
ously expelled, they have received an all but 
complete emancipation. All this yet forms no 
part of Israel's restoration, but may not the 
Christian view these facts as already a ^^ shaking 
of the bones " t (Ezek. xxxvii.) 

The Romish Church has always thought of 
the Jewish people as a great multitude, destined 
in the latter days to be gathered into the 
bosom of the mother Church of the Gentiles. 
Protestantism long looked coldly and with 
indifference upon the future hopes and pro- 
mised conversion of God*s ancient people. It 
remained for the revival of Gospel truth in 
our days to encourage a deeper search into 
unfulfilled prophecy, and thus bring Israel 
more clearly to view, as the people long dis- 
persed, but destined to be again gathered, and 



Digitized by 



Google 



16 INTBODUCTIOK. 

considering the Israelites in their relations 
with Egypt, and afterwards with the different 
nations and tribes of Asia, with whom they 
were brought in contact, either as neighbours 
and enemies, or by the bonds of alliance and 
relationship with Midian, Edom, Moab, Am^p^ 
mon, the Philistines, the Syrians, the Assyrians, 
and under the four great monarchies of Babylon, 
Persia, Macedonia, and Rome. After viewing 
the Israelites in connexion with the Gospel, 
in the fulness of time, we shall follow them 
into their dispersion and captivity in the East 
and West ; in the Eoman empire, in Europe, 
and Asia; in connexion with the Parthians 
and the Persians, the Ostrogoths, and the 
Visigoths; with Arabia, and the rise of Ma- 
hometanism, the Franks, the Germans, the 
Normans, the English, the Poles, and the 
Sclavonian nations in general. We shall 
particularly notice their relations with Spain 
and Portugal, and afterwards with the Low 
Countries, Great Britain, France, Italy, and 
America ; and view them, lastly, in respect to 
their position at the present time, and their 
own future expectations. 

We shall contemplate Israel in this picture 
as the people of the greatest privileges, and 
the darkest transgressions ; the deepest tribu^ 



Digitized by 



Googl 



'1^ i 



INTRODUCTION. 17 

latdon, and the brightest hopes : but the object 
most prominently brought forward will be the 
alternate power of the principles of attraction 
and repulsion, shown forth in its effects upon 
every relation of Israel with the nations of the 
world. There has long been a gulf fixed 
between the two, but, reconciled and united 
by the cross of Christ, they will one day enjoy 
together their respective privileges, united for 
ever, yet never confounded. 



Digitized by 



Google 



BOOK L 

THE ISRAELITES IN EGYPT. 

A VERY interesting period in the history of the 
Israelites first brings them into contact with 
the Egyptians, for in the country of the latter, 
the family became a people, and changed their 
wandering and pastoral life for the labours 
of agriculture. Jacob came into Egypt with 
seventy persons, under one Pharaoh, and six 
hundred thousand children of Israel left the 
country, some centuries after, in the reign of 
another. Before their entrance, the Israelites 
had given to Egypt a Joseph, who by his 
wisdom had preserved both the king and 
country ; in return, Egypt, and Pharaoh's 
house, gave them a Moses. But Moses, in the 
palace of Pharaoh, was not alone brought up 
in " all the wisdom " of one of the most cele- 
brated nations in the world — the whole people 
of Israel shared in this education. If we look 
only upon the oppression and bondage which 
marked the later days of the sojourn of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL ANJ> EGYPT. 19 

Israelites in Egypt, we receive a very incom- 
plete idea of the whole period; this slavery 
and oppression was but a conseqaence of the 
rapid increase and great prosperity of the 
children of Israel. In 1 Chron. iv. 18, a 
glimpse is afforded us of the earlier and 
happier days of their abode on the banks of 
the Nile. 

Nothing can be more simple and natural 
than the conclusion, that to highly civilized 
Egypt, the children of Israel (under the 
powerful guidance of the God of their fathers) 
were indebted for all the advantages of civili- 
zation; and especially for the use of the 
alphabet, an indispensable requisite for the 
reception of their future legislature, and the 
preservation of Divine revelation. We may 
notice another very important point, in observ- 
ing the dose connexion of the children of 
Israel, while becoming a people, with the 
country of Mitzraim. It is, if we may so 
express it, the Egyptian peculiarity of Moses, 
their legislator and leader, and the Egyptian 
character that pervades the whole Pentateuch. 
Moses himself was, in some sense, an Egyptian ; 
not only was he called so by Jethro's daughters, 
whom he delivered from the hands of the shep- 
herds, but the Egyptian character was very 



Digitized by 



Google 



20 I8&AEL AND EGYPT* 

strongly and decidedly stamped upon his person 
and upon all his actions. Brought up in the 
house of Pharaoh's daughter, and at the court 
of the king, trained in all the wisdom which 
at that time distinguished the Egyptians from 
every other nation, the influence of this educa^ 
tion clung to him through life, and entered 
into his Divine calling. 

God often prepares his chosen instruments 
by human means for their ultimate destination 
in his service. Thus was St. Paul made ready 
by Pharisaical Judaism for the labour which 
fell to his share after his conversion to Christ!** 
anity; and thus, in a yet more wonderful 
manner, was the education Moses received in 
an idolatrous country overruled to prepare him 
for a high calling in the service of the living 
God. A most highly civilized nation, deeply 
versed in law and political wisdom, arts, 
sciences, and mechanics, was appointed to 
train him who should become, under the power 
and guidance of God, their ruler, king, guide, 
architect, historian, and poet. 

The statute laws of Israel recognise the 
relation subsisting between the Egyptians and 
the people of God, in a remarkable passage, 
in which, while the nations who had ill-treated 
or were likely to injure the Israelites, were 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL AIXD EGYPT. 21 

excluded from communion with God, an ex- 
ception is made in favour of the Edomite, 
"for he is thy brother," and the Egyptian, 
" because thou wast a stranger in his land." 
(Dent, xxiii. 7.) 

During the whole succeeding history we 
may observe a balance preserved in the rela- 
tionship between Israel and Egypt. No return 
to Egypt was permitted, yet no enmity might 
be shown to the Egyptians. The wife of that 
king in whose reign the kingdom of Israel 
reached the height of its prosperity was a 
daughter of Pharaoh. In later times, under 
the successors of Solomon, it was equally dan- 
gerous for Judah to have the Egyptians as 
allies or enemies. Josiah fell in battle against 
Fharaoh-Necho, whom he had provoked to the 
war ; and, on the other hand, little help was 
gained by his successors in their alliance with 
Egypt against Babylon. When Jerusalem 
had been taken, the temple destroyed, and the 
inhabitants carried captive to Babylon, the 
measure of Jeremiah's affliction was filled up 
by the sinful remnant, who returned to their 
ancient house of bondage and compelled the 
prophet to accompany them thither. 

In the Old Testament prophecies we find, in 
connexion with the complete restoration of 



Digitized by 



Google 



22 ISRAEL AND EOYFT. 

Israel, promises of blessing for Egypt, from 
whence 3300 years since the Lord brought 
forth his people, and "out of which" also 
1800 years ago "He hath called his Son." 
" In that day," saith the Prophet Isaiah (of a 
time to which no past epoch can refer) — " in 
that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in 
the midst of the land of E^ypt, and a pillar at 
the border thereof to the Lord/ And it shall 
be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord 
of Hosts in the land of Egypt ; for they shall 
cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, 
and he shall send them a Saviour, and a great 
one, and he shall deliver them* And the Lord 
shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians 
shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do 
sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a 
vow unto the Lord, and perform it. And the 
Lord shall smite Egypt; he shall smite and 
heal it, and they shall return even to the Lord, 
and he shall be intreated of them, and shall 
heal them. In that day shall there be a high- 
way out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians 
shall come into Elgjrpt, and the Egyptians shall 
serve with the Assyrians. In that day shaU 
Israel be the third with Egypt, and with 
Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the 
land. Whom the Lord of Hosts shaU bless, 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL AND EGYPT. 23 

sayings Blessed be Egypt my people, and 
Assyria the work of mine hands, and Israel 
mine inheritance." (Isa. xix. 19 — 26.) 

With a strong hand, and a stretched-ont 
arm, God led his people ont of Egypt. Soon 
after their departure thence, the Israelites 
received the pledge of their existence as a 
people in the Divine Law given from Mount 
Sinai ; they then began their forty years* wan* 
derings in the wilderness. How striking must 
have been the appearance of the twelve tribes 
of Israel, encamped in the desert, each around 
its own banner, their four sides facing the four 
quarters of the world, whose salvation and 
glory were represented by the tabernacle, with 
its holy vessels and symbolic services! Yet 
the people were destined to undergo many 
chastenings at the hand of God ; as the vine 
branch is purged that it may bring forth more 
fruit, so were the murmurers cut off from the 
midst of Israel, till a fresh generation arose, to 
whom the promises were frilfiUed. 

Moses witnessed the first victory of the 
children of Israel beyond the Jordan, when 
Beuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, 
took possession of the land of Basan and of 
the Amorites. The passage of the river, so 
striking an event in the history of Israel, was 



Digitized by 



Google 



24 ISRAEL XSB THE GENTILES 

reseryed for Joshua. With him began the 
Heroic age, which comprehended four hundred 
and fifty years, including David, and his con- 
temporaries in age and war. 

The relations between Israel and the sur- 
rounding nations in the times of Moses, Joshua, 
the judges, and the kings, were appointed by 
Qod himself, and made a part of the laws and 
constitution of the state. The land promised 
to their fathers was given to the Israelites on 
the condition of their keeping it and them- 
selves free from idolatry, and thus continuing 
the people of the only living and true God. 
From the beginning they neglected this 
charge ; they spared the nations God had sent 
them to punish, and even joined with them in 
serving their gods. Thus were Canaanites 
left in the midst of Israel, who became, in the 
hand of God, a pricking brier and a rod of 
chastisement for his unfaithful and disobedient 
people. Jerusalem remained in possession of 
the Jebusites till the time of David, who, with 
his valiant men, took the fortress of Zion, and 
established there the royal residence and the 
abode of the Ark of God. 

Even the evil of a permanent remnant of 
the nations of Canaan existing in the land, 
after its conquest by Israel, was turned to 



Digitized by 



Google 



BEFORE THE FIRST CAPTIVITY. 25 

good by the hand of God, and made use of for 
their benefit, "that the generations of the 
children of Israel might know, to teach them 
war, at the least such as knew nothing thereof 
before." (Judges iii. 2.) The Israehtes were 
destined from the first to become a warlike 
people ; this character is implied in the whole 
Mosaic code, and it continued to belong to 
the Jewish people until their complete down- 
fell, at the final destruction of their city and 
temple. This character disappeared for many 
centuries, when Israel became a homeless 
wanderer over the face of the globe. 

The peaceful reign of Solomon brings us 
both to the height of Israel's prosperity and 
grandeur, and to the commencement of its 
decline. The evil influence of strangers and 
idolatrous nations, which the ever-drawn sword 
of the man after God's own heart had kept for 
a time at bay, then began its work of destruc* 
tion. By imitating these nations in many 
ways, and especially in their varied idolatries, 
the children of Jacob drew down upon them- 
selves all those misfortunes and judgments, 
which the wrath of God inflicted for their 
punishment. Their princes set the example 
of dangerous and unhallowed connexions, 

c 



Digitized by 



Google 



26 ISRAEL AND THE GENTILES 

which led to the introduction of foreign cus- 
toms and the most horrible practices. 

In those days the children of Israel were, 
both in word and deed, just the reverse of 
what they became in later times; viz., the 
witnesses and preachers of the only true God, 
in the midst of, and in opposition to, all the 
false religions of the world. This position 
they assumed afler the Babylonian captivity, 
and this truly Israelitish calling was shown 
forth later in all its fulness, at the preaching 
of the Cross. We look to see it once more 
shine forth in times of prophecy yet unfulfilled. 

However wide the separation formerly estab* 
lished between the Israelites and the other 
nations, the Psalms and Prophecies ever look 
forward to the union of these two great divi- 
sions of the descendants of Adam under a 
single sceptre. The address which is contained 
in the few words of the 117th Psalm is the 
theme of numerous songs of praise, and predic- 
tions of future glory : — " O praise the Lord, all 
ye nations, praise him, all ye people. For his 
merciful kindness is great towards us, and the 
truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise 
ye the Lord." For centuries the Israelites 
were led by God to expect a future conversion 



Digitized by 



Google 



BEFORB THE FIRST CAPTIVITY. 27 

of the Gentiles; and in a similar manner, 
nnder the present New Testament dispensa^ 
tion, believers in Christ among the Grentiles 
look forward to the complete and national con* 
version of Israel. The prophecies contain as 
many predictions which refer to the Gentiles, 
as to the Israelites themselves,* — not to that 
day alone still to come \^hich shall behold 
them ranged under the banner of the Son of 
Jesse, — they also tell of God's varied dealings 
with them, and his judgments upon them, at 
times and in circumstances long preceding it, 
and thus exemplify what the Apostle St. Paul 
says: "Is he the God of the Jews only? Is 
he not of the Gentiles also % Yes, of the Gen* 
tiles also." (Rom. iii. 29.) 

We have now taken a general view of the 
relations between the Israelites and the Asiatic 
nations around them, before the first destrue* 
tion of Jerusalem ; the more particular relation 
subsisting between them, and same of these na^ 
tions, is interesting for many reasons. We will 
notice, first, the relative position of the Israelites 
and Edomites, the descendants of Jacob and 
Esau, whose history, as it were, began in the 
womb of their mother, Rebecca, where already 

• Isa. XV., XTiii., xix., xxiii. ; Jer. xlvi., xlvii., xlviii., 
xlix.> L ; Eaeek. xxv., zxvii., xxiz., xxzL ; Dan. ii, viL . 
c 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



28 ISRAEL AND EDOM. 

the £Etthers of the two nations struggled to- 
gether; and it was said to the mother, the 
^' Great shall serve the Little'" (Esau) the Greats 
by priority of birth, by physical force, and by 
rapidly becoming a powerful and warlike 
nation, was compelled to give place to (Jacob) 
the Little, because of the promise of that seed, 
in whom all the families of the earth should 
'be blessed. In later times, the brother nation 
rivalled Edom in the number of its people, 
and the extent of its conquests. In those 
days, however, no war was allowed between 
two nations so closely allied by blood. Thus 
the people of God were forbidden by Moses 
to make an attack upon the Edomites, though, 
on their approach to the promised land, the 
latter had refused to the people of Jacob a 
passage through their country, and water to 
drink, for money. Afterwards, in accordance 
vnth Balaam's prophecy, the country of the 
Edomites became, especially in David's time, 
an hereditary possession of the children of 
Israel. Under David's successors, Edom soon 
rebelled ; more than once reconquered, it was 
first in alliance, and afterwards at enmity, viith 
Judah. God threatened Edom with great 
judgments, because in the day of the ruin of 
the children of Judah (their brethren) ^Hhey 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL AND EDOH. 29 

rejoiced and did shoot out the Up in the day 
of their distress." Obadiah, Jeremiah, and 
Ezekiel prophesied to this effect, in the later 
times, as had done before, Isaiah, Joel, and 
Amos, and as did Malachi, after the return 
from Babylon. 

The discoveries lately made in Idumea, and 
its capital Petra, verify the descriptions given 
by the prophets of its former magnificence; 
while they testify, at the same time, to the 
literal fulfilment of all the judgments pro« 
nounced against it. We cannot but be struck 
by the comment which the gigantic architect 
tural remains of Edom now make upon those 
prophecies, of which one of the most remark* 
able was uttered by Jeremiah: — "Thy ter- 
ribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride 
of thine heart. Oh thou that dwellest in the 
clefts of the rock, that boldest the height of 
the hills; though thou shouldest make thy 
nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee 
down from thence, saith the Lord." (Jer. 
xUx. 16.) 

In the latter days of Judah's existence as a 
nation, we may observe a very different con- 
nexion subsisting between the Jews and the 
Edomites. Under the Maccabees the descend- 
ants of the Great (Esau), were still subjected 
to those of the Little (Jacob). But, at last, 



Digitized by 



Google 



80 ISRAEL AND EDOM. 

Edom in his turn subjected his younger 
brother; and the decline of the Asmonean 
dynasty prepared the way for the glory, and 
finally the dominion, of Antipater the Edomite, 
and his son, Herod the Great When the Son 
of David was bom in the stable of Bethlehem, 
the persecuting Edomite was king at Jeru- 
salem, and thus was fulfilled the very length 
and breadth of the prophecy spoken in the 
house of the Patriarch, " the Great shall serve 
the Little/' The Star of Jacob, the King of 
Israel, in the] humility of his human nature, 
was then made manifest as that Little one, 
to which all that is Great in this world must 
one day be subjected and pay homage. 

The people of Israel were allied in a degree 
with Moab and Ammon, the descendants of 
Lot, Abraham's nephew. On their entrance 
into Canaan, the inheritance of these nations 
was spared by the command of God ; yet the 
Moabites were greatly terrified at the approach 
of the children of Israel, and Balak their 
king hired a false prophet to curse the 
people, and sent the daughters of his land to 
seduce them to sin. (Numb, xxii., xxv.) The 
curse intended by Balaam, was changed by the 
power of God, who holds in his hand the very 
thoughts of evil men, into a prophecy of bless- 
ing and glory. Thus the dawn of the glorious 



Digitized by 
"X ^- 



Google 



ISRAEL AND THE PHCBNICIANS. 31 

Star of Jacob was announced against his own 
will, by the mouth of a heathen, as well as 
the future humiliation of Moab, and the in- 
creasing prosperity, of Israel. The Ammon* 
ites and Moabites, on account of their dis- 
graceful origin, were not admitted into the 
congregation of the Lord till the tenth genera^ 
tion« Nevertheless, there is in Christ recon- 
ciliation between Moab and Israel, and it was 
carried into effect many centuries before the 
birth of our Saviour. In the time of the Judges, 
a daughter of Moab, having faith in the God of 
Israel, acted with kindness and fidelity to a 
widow of Judah, and, by her means, the 
genealogy of the king of Israel still transmits 
on its records the name of a Moabitess. In 
the same genealogy, we find the name of 
another daughter of Canaan, Kahab, of Jeri- 
cho, who, at the glorious victory of the chil- 
dren of Israel, was made the first-fruits of the 
Gentiles who should be blessed in the seed of 
Abraham, and by her subsequent marriage 
to Salmon, of the tribe of Judah, she also 
became an ancestress of the incarnate Messiah, 
the Son of David. (Matt. i. 6.) 

Among the nations of Canaan, the Phoenici- 
ans have afforded most matter of interest to uni- 
versal history. We also find them, for many 



Digitized by 



Google 



32 ISRAEL AND THE FHSNICIANS. 

succeeding centuries, in close alliance with the 
people of Israel. The language of the Phoeni- 
cians, notwithstanding their descent from an* 
other son of Noah, (the Israelites from Shem, 
the Phoenicians from Ham), was nearly allied 
to that of the Israelites, and the art of writing 
came to that people either through the Egyp- 
tians, or at once from the Phoenicians, its 
inventors. With Tyre and Sidon, the chief 
cities of this celebrated commercial nation, 
the Israelites, after their settlement in Canaan, 
were either at open war, or engaged in com- 
mercial relations. The Sidonians were early 
mentioned as enemies and persecutors, from 
whom the Lord delivered his people, after he 
had chastened them by their means. (Judg. 
X. 1—12.) 

The kings of Tyre supplied David with 
cedar wood ; and workmen to build his house, 
and also assisted Solomon in building the 
temple. But these commercial connections 
with the Phoenician cities communicated also 
idolatry and immorality, and were the means 
of bringing the iniquities of the Sidonian 
Jezebel and Athaliah upon the kingdoms of 
Israel and Judah. 

The high exaltation and deep debasement 
of Tyre were both spoken of by the prophets 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL AND THE FHOSNICIANS. 33 

of Israel. Of ancient Tyre, taken by Nebu- 
chadnezzar, and modem Tyre, humbled by 
Alexander the Great, there remains scarcely 
a ruin. It is become literally ^^a place to 
spread nets on," as foretold by Ezekiel. But, 
for the inhabitants of Tyre, as well as for the 
Phoenicians in general, better things have been 
foretold by men of God in Israel. The Psalm« 
ist says, ^' I will make mention of Bahab and 
Babylon, as them that know me; behold 
Fhilistia and Tyre with Ethiopia." (Psalm 
IxxxviL 4.) As in the days of Elijah a widow 
of Sarepta, a city of Sidon, found grace in the 
sight of the God of Israel, so in the time of 
our Saviour a Syro-Phoenician, or Canaanitish, 
woman, also sought and found it at the feet 
of Jesus. (St. Mark vii. 26.) When the 
Gospel was preached, the inhabitants of Tyre 
and Sidon gladly received what was first 
offered to the Jews, and soon after we find 
recorded the brotherly love and consolation 
received by the Apostle of the Gentiles, from 
the Christian communities of Tyre, Sidon, 
and Ptolemais. (Acts ?xi. 2 — 7, xxvii. 3.) 
Thus, the Gospel brought not Japhet alone, 
but also Canaan, into the tents of Shem. 

The connexion between the Israelites and 
the Syrians is an abiding feature in the history 
c 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



34 ISRAEL AND STRIA. 

of the former people. Syria, situated between 
Palestine and Mesopotamia, bore at first, in 
common with the latter, the name of Aram. 
It was in remembrance of this part of Syria, 
(Fadan Aram, between the Euphrates and 
Tigris), that the Israelite, each year, at the 
feast of first-fruits, confessed before God that 
he was the son of a ** Syrian, ready to perish." 
(Dent. xxvi. 6.) With Aram, more properly 
speaking, that is to say, Syria beyond the 
Euphrates, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah 
were in turns bound by treaties of alliance, or 
at open war. Macedonian Syria subsequently 
subdued the Jewish people, and continued to 
persecute and oppress them, until the heroic 
Maccabees restored their country to liberty. 

The children of Abraham were also closely 
united to Dam'ascus, the celebrated city of 
Ceelo-Syria. Abraham probably dwelt there 
for some time; there, at least, was bom his 
faithfrd servant, called in Scripture, Eliezer, 
of Damascus. Although, in the time of tiiie 
first temple, idolatry and enmity against the 
Jewish people existed at Damascus, when the 
Gk)spel was preached, we find that a Jewish 
synagogue had long been established there, 
and from it arose a small body of Christians. 
While Saul of Tarsus was hastening to destroy 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL WITH AS8TEIA AND BABYLON. 35 

this way, it was before the gates of Damascus 
that he was converted to the &ith he had per* 
secuted, and within its walls he first preached 
the Gospel. 

In quite a different maimer from any we 
have yet considered, were the Israelites con- 
nected with the two most ancient Asiatic 
monarchies. The Assyrians and Babylonians 
were in God's hand a rod of chastisement for 
his people. What the kingdom of the ten 
tribes suffered from the Assyrians, was in- 
flicted in later times by the Babylonians upon 
the people of Judah. Both these kingdoms 
received their punishment fix)m God, by the 
hand of the same nations with whose idols 
they had so long defiled themselves, and pro- 
yoked the Lord to anger. Shalmanezer, king 
of the Assyrians, carried captive great part of 
the ten tribes into his own country, and Sen- 
nacherib, his successor, had prepared a similar 
&te for Judah ; but he was utterly overthrown 
before Jerusalem, because Hezekiah and Isaiah 
had made supplication unto Him that dwelleth 
between the cherubim. . Two centuries after, 
Babylon carried into effect what Assyria had 
threatened. The city of Jerusalem was taken, 
the Temple destroyed, and the greater part of 
the people carried captive to Babylon. This 



Digitized by 



Google 



36 ISRAEL WITH ASSYRIA 

event begins a new era in the hbtory of the 
Jews. 

The ancient division of the people of Israel 
into the ten and the two tribes (Ephraim and 
Judah), which no doubt had its origin in 
an earlier part of the history, before their 
separation under Rehoboam and Jeroboam, 
has subsisted from the conquests of Assyria 
and Babylon to the present time. Their re* 
union, as one people, containing the twelve 
tribes, under one shepherd— Messiah, the Son 
of David, is a divine blessing foretold by the 
prophets, which cannot be said to be in any 
way realized by the partial return of the people 
of Judah from Babylon. 

We may, however, look upon these facts as 
well ascertained; first, that some of the ten 
tribes returned to their own country, and 
settled there again after the time of Shalma- 
nezer, and that parts of Galilee also were 
inhabited by their descendants. It is, how- 
ever, equally testified by prophecy, history, 
and tradition, that a body of Israelites of the 
ten tribes have been perpetuated on some 
part of the surface of our globe ; thus, in our 
days, there is a dispersion both of Judah 
and Ephraim drawing near the time of their 
reunion and re-establishment as a nation. 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND BABYLON. 37 

Though the ratdonalism of our days has led 
some of the Jews even to douht this separate 
existence of the ten tribes, yet against a single 
line of the Talmud to that effect is arrayed 
the whole testimony of Josephus, and the 
enduring tradition constantly handed down 
among themselves. This tradition, founded 
upon the prophecy of Ezekiel (xxxvii.), which 
foretels the reunion of the twelve tribes, even 
fixes the abode of these Israelites in some iso- 
lated spot, in a remote part of Asia, beyond 
the imaginary river Sabbation. 

The Portuguese Jewish Rabbi, Menasseh 
ben Israel, in his " Hope of Israel," written in 
1650, was of the same opinion as the cele* 
brated Spanish traveller, Antonio de Monte- 
sino (also a Jew)^ that a part of the ten tribes 
was to be met with among the Indians of 
North America. In our days, the well-known 
missionary and preacher, Joseph Wolff, thinks 
he has met with this remn^t among the 
handsome and warlike tribes of Affghanistan 
and Great Bucharia. No researches, how- 
ever, have had more successful results than 
those of the American missionary, Dr. Grant, 
in his travels in the year 1834. According to 
his observations, the Nestorians, inhabiting 
the inaccessible mountains of Kurdistan (the 



Digitized by 



Google 



38 THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIYITT. 

ancient Assyria), are, in their religion, the 
same as the Nestorian Christians mentioned 
in the history of the Church, but by descent 
no other than Israelites of the ten tribes car* 
ried into Assyria 720 years before the birth 
of Christ Their customs, their ceremonies, 
their countenances, and their names, at once 
show that these Nestorian mountaineers belong 
to the Israelitish family, while the country, 
by its identity with the Assyria of the Bible, 
{^ves presumptive evidence of their being the 
colony formed by Shalmanezer. 

The captivity of the two tribes at Babylon 
forms a remarkable epoch, productive of strik- 
ing consequences in the history of the people. 
For this reason, the genealogy of Christ, in 
the Gospel of St. Matthew, is interrupted by 
the notice of this event. (Matt. i. 11, 12.) 
Ftom that time, a sensible and decided change 
took place, both in the moral and political 
position of the Jewish people. Idolatry, the 
besetting sin of past generations, had perished; 
and their outward character was, in many 
respects, improved. 

It was in Babylon that the peculiar relation 
first subsisted between the Jews and the people 
of the land of their exile, which has continued 
unchanged through the whole of their dis- 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY. 39 

persion, enabling them to accommodate 
themselves to a residence among strangers, 
and adopt their names and habits without 
ceasing to be Jews. The nobles of Judah 
became, by degrees, reconciled to their resi* 
dence in the Boyal City of Babylon. The 
Chaldee of their captivity mingled itself with 
their patriarchal Hebrew, and this memorial 
of their long and interesting abode in the 
country remains in their Liturgies to the 
present day. In the Prophet Daniel, there is 
a mixture of the Chaldee element, both in his 
historico-prophetic writings, and in the varied 
course of his whole life. He, as well as three 
other young men of princely birth in Judea, 
Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were reck- 
oned among the rulers and sages of the King 
of Babylon. They all four bore, besides their 
Jewish name, a Babylonian surname. So in the 
same manner we find afterwards Jews bearing 
the Greel^ names of Philip and Alexander, 
and the Roman names of Mark, Paul, and 
flavins ; and subsequently, in Spain and Por- 
tugal, joining their Oriental appellation to the 
surname of a Spanish or Portuguese family. 
Daniel, called at Babylon Belteshazzar, gave 
glory to the God of Israel, by confessing him 
to be the only and true God, in the midst of 



Digitized by 



Google 



40 THE JEWS IN BABYLON. 

the idolatrous city, and before all his enemies. 
By turns persecuted and raised to the highest 
honours, he was more than once Prime Minis- 
ter of the State, and at the same time the 
chosen prophet of God, His prophecies, 
written while he held so striking a position 
with regard to the Israelites and the Gentiles, 
bear that original and universally historical 
character which distinguishes, in particular, 
the visions of the four great monarchies 
(chapters iL and viii.), and can only be com- 
pared to its strongly-marked parallel in the 
New Testament, the Eevelation of St. John. 

Jewish tradition informs us, that it was, 
with few exceptions, the less noble families 
who took advantage of the edict of Cyrus, and 
listened to the voice of ZerubbabeL Accord- 
ingly, we find that the Jewish population, who 
continued at Babylon, soon became numerous, 
flourishing, and of some importimce in the 
country. Colonies from Babylon, if we may 
believe the traditions of the Spaniards and 
Jews, settled upon the shores of Hesperia, and 
founded there cities, of whose names the 
Hebrew origin may still be traced, as Toledo, 
Escalonia, Maqueda, &c. It is certain, that 
in later times the celebrated Rabbinical schools 
of Spain descended from, and became the 



Digitized by 



Google 



CTBUS. — THE JEWS IN PERSIA. 41 

successors of, those at Babylon. After the 
destruction of Jerusalem by the Bomans, the 
patriarch, or prince of the captivity at Babylon, 
was considered of higher rank, and held in 
more esteem by the dispersed people, than he 
who held the same office in Palestine; and 
finally, the Talmud which is called Babylonian 
is both more considerable, and in higher repute 
among the Jewish theologians, than the Tal- 
mud of Jerusalem. 

At all times, the Jews have met with more 
favour from kings than from their subjects. 
On their side they have, during the whole of 
their captivity, shown themselves faithful to 
the ruling power, and generally prepossessed 
in favour of a monarchical form of Govern- 
ment. 

Cyrus appears at the head of the great 
kings and conquerors who have shown peculiar 
favour to the Jewish people. He was spoken 
of by name, and commended by the prophet, 
as the chosen instrument of their deliverance 
from the Babylonian captivity. (Isa. xlv. 1 ; 
£sd. i.) A Persian tradition even says, that 
he was the son of a Jewess. Under his 
auspices, the temple of Jerusalem was rebuilt 
by Zerubbabel (called at Babylon Shesbazzar), 
the son of Salathiel, of the Royal family of 



Digitized by 



Google 



42 THE JEWS AND PERSIANS. 

David. The great amount of the Jewish 
population in the Persian dominions, and the 
power they possessed, is clearly shown in the 
Book of Esther, when, hy the peculiar custom 
of the Medes and Persians, the King, being 
unable to revoke the decree he had once 
made, sent letters, " and granted to the Jews 
which were in every city to gather themselves 
together, and to stand for their life, to destroy^ 
to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power 
of the people and provinces that would assault 
them, both little ones and women, and to take 
the spoil of them for a prey," (Esther viii. 2.) 
Mordecai soon after became Prime Minister of 
the same King, Ahasuerus (probably the Xerxes 
of Grecian history), as Daniel had been before 
him, at Babylon. Under Artaxerxes, the son 
and successor of Xerxes, the office of cup- 
bearer to the King was filled by Nehemiah, 
whose heart was so deeply affected towards 
the city of the sepulchre of his fathers, while 
he was performing the duties of his office 
before the King and Queen. (Neh. ii. 17.) 
This Artaxerxes, according to Oriental tradi- 
tion, was also of Jewish birth by the mother's 
side. 

The mutual influence exercised upon one 
another by the two nations, may be noticed in 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS, ETa 43 

sacceeding ages. It is more than probable 
that the books, or at least the reminiscences of 
Daniel, were known to Zoroaster, as we find 
in the Persian religion mnch that is spiritual, 
and little of the idolatry prevalent among the 
nations of antiquity. On the other hand, we 
may observe, that, after the residence of the 
Jews in Persia, Persian words were introduced 
into the language, and Persian names used to 
designate Jewish offices. 

The appearance of Alexander the Great, as 
conqueror and ruler of the world, made a 
marked impression upon the destiny of the 
Jewish people, by bringing them in contact 
with the most highly civilized nations of an* 
tiquity. 

To call Alexander great as a conqueror 
only, is not to do him justice ; he deserves this 
title of distinction among the princes of an- 
tiquity in a fiir higher sense of the word. His 
ambition, and even his excesses, must not 
blind the eyes of the impartial historian to the 
glorious ideas he had formed, of which his 
actions and projects testify, for the peace, the 
welfare, and the civilization of the world. To 
bring the whole of Asia into subjection, not to 
the arras only, but to the civilization of the 
Greeks, was an idea worthy of a conqueror, 



Digitized by 



Google 



44 THE JEWS tJMSEB 

the disciple of Aristotle, the admirer of Homer 
and Pindar, the friend and protector of Apel- 
les; whose powerful genius and enlightened 
observation could at once admire and adopt all 
that was great and beautiful No one can 
fail to see the greatness and human wisdom of 
the project he formed, in fixing upon Babylon 
for the metropolis of the Grecian monarchy, 
and founding the city of Alexandria, between 
the Nile and the Mediterranean, in the place 
of Tyre, which he had overthrown. But this 
height of worldly greatness was destined to 
fall before reaching its complete elevation. 
The hero and prince had raised himself as a 
god, and he died from excesses which sank 
him below the brute. His great projects were 
left unfinished, and yet made serviceable to 
those designs of God's providence for which 
his whole career had laid the foundation. 
We need not, then, be surprised to find this 
period of the world's history prove eventful to 
the Jewish people. The Jews in Palestine 
found favour with Alexander, not only on 
account of their inviolable fidelity to Darius 
Codomanus, the last Persian King, but also 
because he knew the service they might render 
to his monarchy by carrying out his plans in 
all the countries where they were settled. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE GRECIAN MONARCHY. 45 

From the time of Alexander, a new era 
began in the history of the world in general, 
and of the Jews in particular. The latter 
became acquainted with the language, litera- 
ture, and philosophy of the Greeks ; while, on 
the other hand, the influence of their religion 
and principles was felt in the Grecian and 
Boman world. The Jews began to divide 
themselves into Hebrews and Hellenists ; they 
multiplied synagogues in all parts of the world, 
and a Greek translation, called the Septuagint, 
was made of their sacred books. Thus, in 
three different ways, was preparation made for 
the diffusion of that Gospel which should come 
from the Jews. A single glance into Bible 
History suffices to show that these synagogues 
became, under Divine providence, the means 
by which a knowledge of the only true God 
was spread in some degree among the nations. 
From thence, also, 'did the apostles (especially 
the apostle of the Gentiles) declare among 
many nations the Gospel of Jesus Christ 
Acts ix. 20; xiii. 5—14; xiv. 1—10, 17; 
xviii. 4 — 19 ; xix. 8. 

At the time of the birth of Christ and the 
setting forth of the Gospel, Greek was the 
universal language, and, therefore, the means 
best fitted to convey the message and doctrines 



Digitized by 



Google 



46 THE JEWS IN MACEDONIAN EGYPT. 

of salvation to both Jew and Gentile, Greek 
and barbarian. Thus the revealed will of 
God, hitherto only expressed in Hebrew, was 
at the new dispensation written in Greek, 
the " new wine was put into new bottles." The 
language had been for centuries in a process of 
formation, while men of the greatest genius, 
talent, and discrimination, had gradually 
brought it to express with the greatest 
accuracy the thoughts and ideas of men. But 
the beautiful Greek language was destined to 
undergo a yet further preparation before it 
could express the fulness of Divine thought, 
and convey the richness of Divine revelation. 
It had to be imbued and penetrated with the 
spirit of the Hebrew, before it became the dialect 
in which the whole of the New Testament was 
embodied ;* and this had been accomplished 
in the translation of the sacred writings of the 
Jews, made by command of Ptolemy Fhila* 
delphus, king of Egypt, which was known to, 
and constancy quoted by the apostles, and 

* Many learned men have expressed an opinion that Sc 
Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, but I must differ 
from them for reasons which I have fullj stated else* 
where. However it may be, part of those who attribute 
to St. Matthew a Gospel in Hebrew, state that he is also 
the author of that which bears his name in Greek. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN MACEDONIAN EGYPT. 47 

which remains to our days one of the most 
valuable aids for the criticism of the Old 
Testament. 

These events bring us to a period in the 
Macedonian empire, long after the death of 
Alexander and the division of the monarchy. 
We find in the kingdom of the Ptolemies in 
Egypt and the Seleucidse in Syria, much to 
interest us, in connexion with the people of 
Israel. The first encounter of the Ptolemies 
with the Jewish people was not a friendly one, 
for the Jews remaining faithful to Laomedon of 
Mitylene, to whom the countries of Syria, 
Phoenicia, and Palestine had been allotted, 
resisted the victorious arms of Ptolemy Soter, 
the son of Lagus. Jerusalem was besieged 
and taken on the Sabbath-day, the Jews having 
interpreted the law in its strictest sense, and 
refused to defend themselves. Ptolemy who 
possessed great political tact, as well as talent 
for war, used his victory with wisdom and 
moderation. He put a stop to all ill-treatment 
of the vanquished, and taking some thousands 
of the inhabitants of Palestine into Egypt, he 
confirmed to them all the privileges which 
were before granted to them at Alexandria 
by the founders of that city ; he also placed 



Digitized by 



Google 



48 THE JEWS IN MACEDONIAN EGYPT. 

many of these new colonists in important 
situations in the army and the governments. 
Under his successors, the Jews, except during 
the reign of Fhilopater, continued to prosper 
and distinguish themselves in Egypt. In the 
reigns of Ptolemy Philometer and Cleopatra 
especially, they rendered important services in 
the war, in which the names of Dositheus and 
Onias became illustrious. That of Onias has 
also passed down to posterity in connexion 
with the Jewish temple built by him in the 
country of Heliopolis, in imitation of the 
temple at Jerusalem. This temple — a thorn in 
the eyes to the Jews at Palestine — lasted but 
little longer than the temple at Jerusalem, 
being destroyed by Vespasian with the city of 
Onion, soon after the catastrophe of the latter. 
The distmguishing characteristic of the Jews 
in Egypt, under the dominion of the Ptolemies, 
was their acquaintance with Grecian civilization, 
literature, and philosophy. Many learned Jews, 
among whom we may mention Philo, devoted 
themselves to the exclusive study of Greek 
literature, and communicating through that 
language to the Gentiles the Mosaic history 
and Jewish traditions, became rather Greeks 
than Jews. Among these Egyptian Jews the 



Digitized by 



Google 



rHE JEWS IN ALEXANDRIA. 49 

use of their national Hebrew was by degrees 
laid aside, and the Septuagint version substi- 
tuted for their original Scriptures. 

The privileges granted to the Jews by 
Alexander, and his successors the Ptolemies, 
were afterwards confirmed by Julius Cssar, 
in recompense for the great services rendered 
him by the Jews of Palestine under Antipater, 
the &ther of Herod, and by those of Onion in 
Egypt. Even after his time, the Jews con- 
tinued prosperous at Alexandria, both in their 
commercial and political relations, and the fall 
of Jerusalem made but little change in their 
situation. We find under the first Christian 
emperors, that a great number of Jews were 
living at Alexandria, and often joining in the 
disputes between the Church and the Arians. 
When the city was taken by the Saracens, 
about the middle of the seventh century, the 
conquerors found nearly 40,000 Jews settled 
there and prospering. From that time the 
history of the Jews of Alexandria merges into 
that of the Arabians ; they had survived even 
the Boman Empire ! 

We have found the Jews under the third 
monarchy, that of Alexander and his successors, 
mixed up in many memorable events with the 
kingdoms of Egypt and Syria. They also in- 



Digitized by 



Google 



50 ISRAEL AND ROME. 

habited the city of Rome, long before Vespasian 
led captive within its walls, the sad remnant 
who survived the destruction of their city and 
temple. It is most probable that the Jews 
first came to Rome and settled in many parts 
of Italy, after the victories of the Roman 
republic in the East, over Macedonia and 
Greece, and its wars in Syria, when alliance 
was made between Rome and Judea, a little 
before the time of the Maccabees. It is 
certain, that in the time of Julius Csssar and 
Cicero, the Jews at Rome were both numerous 
and influential. This great orator, when plead- 
ing for Flaccus, makes mention of the immense 
sums sent to Jerusalem by the Jews at Rome, 
for the support and embellishment of the 
temple. So much were the Jews attached to 
the person and government of Julius Ca^ar, 
that at Rome they testified their horror of his 
assassination by a revolt. We find the Jews 
at Rome mingling with every class of society, 
as conjurors, freed men, actors, and Roman 
citizens. Some think, that Aristius Fuscus, to 
whom the poet Horace addressed an ode, and 
whom he mentions in his letters and satires as 
an intimate fiiend, was a Roman Jew. Under 
the Emperor Augustus, ample privileges were 
granted to the Jews who lived at Rome, and full 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL AND ROME. 51 

liberty given them to build synagogues. These 
" strangers of Rome " are especially mentioned 
in the Acts of the Apostles, among the wit- 
nesses of the miracle on the day of Pentecost. 
Under Tiberius they were treated with harsh- 
ness, probably because of the imposition prac- 
tised by four Jews upon a noble proselyte. 
Under Caligula and Claudius they were, toge- 
ther with the Christians, banished and recalled 
by turns. We find from Josephus that when 
he visited Some for the first time, in the reign 
of Nero, he found Jews prospering and in 
favour at court, especially with Poppea, the 
emperor's wife, who seems to have been in 
some degree a proselyte. 

The last period of the history of the 
Jews in their own country extends over 
600 years (from 630 a.c, to 70 a.d.), during 
which stood the second temple, built by 
Zerubbabel, and enlarged and embellished 
by Herod. We have noticed that a change 
took place in the whole state of religion and 
politics among the Jews, on their return from 
the Babylonian captivity. Their outward 
character was improved, but tradition had 
sprung up by the side of truth, and nearly 
overpowered it; a knowledge of the Jewish 
religion had spread abrotid, while the spirit of 
D 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



52 THE JEWS IN PALESTINE AT THE 

heathen philosophy mixed itself in a degree 
even with sacred things. The temple was 
rebuilt ; but, as if in rivalry of the sanctuary, a 
temple was raised by the Samaritans on Mount 
Gerizim, and another in Egypt by the Helle- 
nist Jews. The entire change in the form of 
government is not less worthy of notice ; mon- 
archy had disappeared, and the house of David 
no longer occupied the highest rank, after 
Zerubbabel (a scion of that house) had estab- 
lished a republican form of government. An 
aristocracy, generally under the power of the 
high priesthood, took the place of monarchy. 
In subsequent years, except during the time 
of the Maccabees, the republic of Judea was 
usually dependent upon one of the great 
powers which succeeded the Babylonian em- 
pire. Under the Persian monarchy, from the 
days of Nehemiah, the Jews suffered neither 
oppression nor exaction, and if in later times 
they were treated with greater harshness, it 
was occasioned 'by their own feuds and dis- 
putes for the priesthood. We have before 
mentioned the fidelity of the Jews to Darius 
Codomanus, on account of which they refused 
to supply Alexander's army with provisions 
while carrying on the siege of Tyre. The 
powerful monarch determined to chastise them 



Digitized by 



Google 



TIME OF THE SECOND TElfPLE. 53 

as soon as the capital of Phcenicia was taken ; 
but he gave up the project, and loaded the 
Jews with fevours, in consequence of having 
seen in a dream the high priest, who really 
went out to meet him and to deprecate his 
wrath. These circumstances are related in 
Josephus's history. The same author gives us 
an account of some Jewish soldiers in Alex- 
ander's army, who refused their assistance in 
removing the remains of an idol temple at 
Babylon, and the clemency showed by the 
king towards them. After the death of Alex- 
ander (323 A.c.) and the division of his empire, 
Palestine and Syria remained for nearly a cen- 
tury subject to the Egyptian monarchy. In 
the year 202 A.c. the Jews became subjects 
of Antiochus the Great, whose rule at first 
seemed preferable to that of Ptolemy Philo- 
pater; but the sceptre of Syria began to weigh 
heavily on Judea, when swayed by Antiochus 
Epiphanes, sumamed Epimanes on account of 
his cruelty, the son of Antiochus the Great. 
Before this intervention of the king of Syria, 
a decidedly Grecian party was formed in 
Judea, at the head of which Joshua, the 
brother of the high priest, had placed himself, 
and with its assistance he easily obtained his 
brother's dignity; but Menelaus, a younger 



Digitized by 



Google 



54 THE JEWS IN PALESTINE AT THE 

brother, soon revolted against Joshua, who 
had taken the Greek name of Jason. The 
two, while separately striving to obtain their 
elder brother's office, were acting on the same 
principle, and animated by the same desire, of 
establishing Gentile customs among the Jews. 
The very same year (172 a.c.) the Jewish 
Sanhedrim was established at Jerusalem. By 
these constant feuds the Jewish people brought 
upon themselves cruel oppression and persecu- 
tion. Antiochus, on his return from a war in 
Egypt, took the part of Menelaus, marched 
with him at once to Jerusalem, took the city, 
and gave it up to carnage and rapine (this 
was but a beginning of the barbarities he 
afterwards inflicted). He profaned the temple, 
stripped it of its treasures, and then dedicated 
it to Jupiter Olympus, leaving a Phrygian, 
named Philip, governor of the country. He 
forbade the observance of sabbaths and feasts, 
and the rite of circumcision, and compelled 
the people to defile themselves by eating pork. 
Jerusalem was in his days made desolate, and 
the caves of the surrounding mountains filled 
with fugitives. 

In the midst of this night of darkness and 
gloom, the God of their fathers again rekindled 
the light of Israel. At Modin, in the western 



Digitized by 



Google 



TIMB OF THE SEOOND TEMPLE. 55 

part of Judea, an aged priestt named Matta- 
thias, of Jozareb, rose like a second Fhinehas, 
supported by his five heroic sons, Simon, Jona- 
than, Judah, Eleazer, and John. Mattathias 
gave the signal, by killing a Jew in the act of 
offering sacrifice to an idol (a.c. 168); and 
soon, throughout all Jndea, under his com- 
mand and that of his sons, a guerilla warfare 
began with the Syrian forces. On the death 
of the heroic fitther, his son Judas (the Macca- 
bee), the third in age, but the first of his sons 
in valour and talent, took the command. 
With a very small army he performed great 
exploits, and gained a succession of victories, 
which brought by degrees the different towns 
and fortresses into his possession. The Syrians 
were many times defeated, with immense loss, 
and Jerusalem at length regained. In the 
year 165 a.c. the Temple was purified, and 
dedicated afresh with great pomp. The Feast 
of Dedication, or Feast of Lights, is kept by 
the Jews to this day, in remembrance of the 
event. (St. John x. 22.) The warlike career of 
the noble Maccabee was again crowned with 
success, when he turned his victorious arms 
against the Edomites, the Ammonites, and 
the Gileadites. After some less successful 
struggles, in which he was opposed by the 



Digitized by 



Google 



56 JUDEA UNDER THE MACCABEES. 

king of Syria in person, the dty of Jerusalem 
was declared, by a treaty of capitulation, a 
dependency of Syria. Not long after this 
event, the brave Maccabee ended his career 
by a glorious death; being attacked by the 
Syrians under Bacchides, with an army of 
2,200 men. He resisted this force with only 
800 followers, and fell in a desperate battle 
between Lachish and Ashdod (the Thermopylae 
of Judah). His youngest brother, Jonathan, 
the next in valour, succeeded him, and carried 
on, for five memorable years, the work of 
Judea's deliverance. Under Simon, the eldest, 
who succeeded his younger brothers, the inde* 
pendence of the Jewish state was established, 
and the supreme authority, with the office of 
high priest, vested in the family of the Asmo- 
neans. Simon, as well as his brother 
Jonathan, perished by the treachery of his 
enemies; he was succeeded by his son John 
Hyrcanus, who showed himself by his virtue, 
talent, and valour, a worthy scion of the Mac- 
cabees. He continued the work his father 
had begun, and subjected the Edomites, who 
from that time became participators of the 
religion and institutions of the Jews. 

In the latter part of the reign of Hyrcanus 
the Great, an important change took place, in 



Digitized by 



Google 



JUDEA UNDER THE MACCABEES. 57 

the connexion between the reigning power and 
the two great religious sects of Judea. This 
prince separated himself entirely from the 
Pharisees, on account of an insult which they 
offered to him in public ; and both he and his 
sons, Aristobulus and Alexander Janneus, suc- 
cessively ranged themselves on the side of the 
Pharisees. The reign of Aristobulus was short, 
and offers nothing worthy of note ; the domi- 
nion of his brother Alexander Janneus, which 
continued twenty-seven years, was marked by 
disturbance and cruelty. At his death he 
desired his Queen Alexandra to effect a recon- 
ciliation with the Pharisees, for the sake of 
his sons. From that time the two religious 
sects again sided with political parties, the 
Pharisees taking the part of Hyrcanus II., the 
Sadducees that of Aristobulus II., his younger 
but more valiant brother. These intestine 
divisions hastened the down£Bdl of the Asmo- 
nean dynasty, and brought the Jewish state, 
first under the influence, and then under the 
rule, of the Herods. 

The Jews, under Judas Maccabeus, had 
sent ambassadors and made alliance with the 
Bomans against the king of Syria, in the year 
161 A.c. This treaty was confirmed in the 
time of his brother Simon, and contained the 
d3 



Digitized by 



Google 



58 THE J£W8 AMD BOMAN8. 

following artides: — The condition of matoal 
assistance in war; a prohibition to the sur- 
rounding nations to supply the enemies of 
Judea with com; and an enrolment of the 
Jews as friends and allies of the Roman 
people, by a decree of the Senate written upon 
brass. 

Thus a friendly relation subsisted for many 
years, the Romans never interfering in the 
affidrs of Judea, till Aristobulus II. called in 
the aid of Fompey against Hyrcanus II., who, 
with an army of Arabs, was approaching the 
walls of Jerusalem. Aristobulus tried to gain 
the favour of Fompey, after his deliverance 
from this danger, by sending him presents (in 
particular the golden vine), and by agreeing 
with his rival to submit to the tribunal of Rome 
the decision between their respective claims. 
Without waiting for, or regarding this deci- 
sion, however, he assumed the tide of king, 
and thus brought upon himself the wrath of 
Fompey, who immediately marched against 
Jerusalem, and by a concurrence of adverse 
circumstances, succeeded with much difficulty 
in making himself master of the city. He 
spared the treasures laid up in the temple, 
but entered the Holy of Holies. This first 
conquest of the city and temple of Jerusalem 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL AND ROME. 59 

by the Komans took place, most likely, in the 
same year that Amia, the daughter of Phanuel, 
entered that temple to worship, day and night, 
for sixty-three years, until she saw in the 
arms of Simeon the child bom at Bethlehem, 
and confessed him to be the Lord. (Luke iv. 
36, 38.) The dominion of Judea thus fell to 
the share of Hyrcanus IL, or rather to Anti- 
pater the Edomite, who ruled in the name of 
the feeble Asmonean prince. A few years 
after, in the struggle that took place between 
Fompey and Ceesar for the possession of Rome 
and the whole world, Antipater rendered 
many services to the latter.. He assisted 
Caesar in Egypt, both by the influence which 
he exerdsed in his favour with the Jews of 
Onion, and also by succouring him with a 
body of Israelitish troops, who rendered great 
service in the siege and taking of Felusium. 
Cffisar showed his gratitude by privileges con- 
ferred on the Jews in Egypt, which were 
publicly proclaimed at Alexandria ; by rebuild- 
ing the fortifications of Jerusalem; and by 
confirming the crown to Hyrcanus IL, under 
the tutelage of Antipater. 

From that time, a friendly relation was kept 
up with Borne under Caesar, Anthony, and 
Octavius, while Jerusalem was under the- 



Digitized by 



Google 



60 ISRAEL AND ROME. 

dominion of Antipater and his sons, Herod and 
Phasael. Anthony raised the two latter, by a 
decree, to the rank of tetrarchs of Judea, and 
thus the foundation of the Asmonean mon- 
archy was undermined. Antigonus, the 
younger son of Aristobulus, (who with his 
eldest son Alexander had already fallen in 
tiieir efforts to regain the throne,) sought 
assistance from the Parthians, who had long 
been enemies of Rome. Facorus with his army 
marched to Jerusalem, and made Hyrcanus II. 
and Phasael prisoners. Phasael committed 
suicide in prison, and Hyrcanus had his ears 
cut off, to disable him from again claiming 
the high priesthood and royal power. Herod 
escaped to Rome, and was there proclaimed by 
a decree of the senate, passed before Octayius 
and Anthony, king of Judea. The Asmonean 
family were set aside, and Antigonus declared 
an enemy of the Romans. When the Parthians 
were defeated, he was taken and crucified. 
After much bloodshed, Herod obtained posses- 
sion of Jerusalem, and his title to the throne 
was confirmed by Octavius after the battle of 
Actium. Thus, the grandson of an Idumean 
idolater obtained the throne of the Asmoneans, 
and reigned in the city of David over his 
house and kingdom. Herod the Great reigned 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AT OUR SAYIOUR's BIRTH. 61 

for nearly forty years over the Jewish people ; 
his goyemment afforded some instances of 
greatness of mind employed for the good of 
his subjects, but it was sullied by a corrupt 
form of worship, which mingled reverence for 
the gods and demigods of the heathen with 
the service of Jehovah, and by a series of 
murders committed on the remaining members 
of the Asmonean femily. He slew the high 
priest Aristobulus, his brother-in-law, Hyrca- 
nus II., his grandfather, his wife Mariamne, 
and two of his sons, and massacred all the 
children of Bethlehem, with the intention of 
putting to death the new-bom King of the 
Jews. • 

It is written^ '^ The sceptre shall not depart 
from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his 

* GENBALOOT OF THE FAMILY OF THB MACCABEES, OB 
A8MONEAN8. 

MafttatblM, ion of John, grvadioo of AimoDiai. 

n i — I — I — r^ 

Jdan. Jouthan. Jous, SlmoD. Btouar. 



John HyreaniM the Greftt. 



HyreaniM 



r — I ' 1 — ^ 

' Hjrmniu II. AriMobaln II. 



I ( 1 1 ) 

Alozandn, maniod to Alexander. Aotlgonui. 

I 



r 



II. 



Digitized by 



Google 



62 THE JEWS AND THE ROMANS 

feet, until Shiloli com«, and to him shall the 
gathering of the people be." (Gen. xlix. 10.) 
And it was so, when in accordance with the 
Word of God by his prophets, the promised 
Messiah was born at Bethlehem. Judea, 
though not independent, was still in existence 
as a kingdom: there was still in Judah a 
sceptre and a lawgiver. A few years after 
the birth of the Shiloh, Judea became a 
Boman province, without government or 
jurisdiction of its own. When " the Saviour, 
who is Christ the Lord," was born in Bethle- 
hem of Judea, the whole civilised world spoke 
one language — that of Greece, and acknow- 
ledged one dominion — that of Rome. The 
Emperor Augustus, after ages of warfare and 
struggle, reigned in peace at Bome over the 
whole world, the fourth monarchy foretold by 
Daniel was at the height of its greatness. 
Bome, with her million and a half of citizens, 
extended her sway from the Atlantic to the 
Euphrates, from the desert of Africa to the 
banks of the Rhine, ruling over 120,000,000 
of men, and 100,000 square miles, the bound- 
aries of all her provinces being brought to 
centre in a pillar in the midst of the imperial 
city. 

The birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem, 



Digitized by 



Google 



AT THE TIME OF QUE SAYIOUE. 63 

the City of David, according to the word 
of the prophet, was closely connected in its 
accomplishment with the extension of the 
Roman dominion over the whole world. ^ And 
it came to pass in those days, that there went 
out a decree from Cffisar Augustas, that all 
the world should he taxed. And all went to 
be taxed, every one into his own city. And 
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the 
city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of 
David, which is called Bethlehem ; (because 
he was of the house and lineage of David : ) to 
be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being 
great with child. And so it was, that, while 
they were there, the days were accomplished 
that she should be delivered. And she brought 
forth her firstborn son." (St. Luke ii. 
1-7.) 

The angel who announced his birth to the 
Virgin of Nazareth said, that "God would 
give him the throne of his father David;" 
that he should " reign over the house of Jacob 
for ever." (St. Luke i. 32, 33.) « Bom King 
of the Jews," he was saluted as such by the 
eastern magi, and was crucified with this 
superscription. It was then " the fulness of 
time," when the world was brought into the 
presence of its Creator, and Israel before his 



Digitized by 



Google 



64 THE JEWS AND THE ROMANS 

King ; '* God was manifest in the flesh," and 
thus was made manifest also what the world 
was — what it had become through sin. Israel 
filled up the measure of their iniquity by 
condemning their Messiah ; Borne, as repre- 
sentative of the Gentile world, executed the 
bloody sentence. Jesus Christ prayed for his 
murderers — for both Jew and Gentile — who in 
sinfiil ignorance shed the blood that has pur- 
chased for both, remission of sins by fidth in 
his name. Yet he is still " King of the Jews,** 
and will one day restore the kingdom. (Acts 
i. 6, 7.) When the judgment of Grod for the 
rejection of Messiah has been poured out, and 
his people scattered to the furthest comers of 
the earth, then will he gather again the twelve 
tribes of Israel, and through them dispense 
happiness to a renewed world, under the 
dominion of the one Shepherd, the Lamb that 
was slain, the Lion that hath conquered. He 
had said to Jerusalem and to the Jewish 
people, " Ye would not * receive me,' and now 
behold your house is left unto you desolate ; " 
and when, another time, he drew near and 
" beheld the city, he wept over it, saying. If 
thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this 
thy day, the things which belong unto thy 
peace ! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 



Digitized by 



Google 



AT THE TIME OF OUB SAVIOUR. 65 

They shall lay thee even with the ground, and 
thy children within thee ; and they shall not 
leave in thee one stone upon another ; because 
thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." 
(St. Luke xix. 41, 42, 44.) Yet with the 
denunciation, he has given sure promise of 
certain restoration : '^ Jerusalem shall be trod- 
den down of the GentHes, until the times of 
the Gentiles be fulfilled." (St. Luke xxi. 24.) 
The sentence of Jerusalem was to receive its 
execution from Rome. But the fearful judg- 
ment was preceded by a period of unusual 
peace and prosperity, such as the country had 
not enjoyed since the days of Solomon. We 
may note this, as one striking feature among 
the many, that attract our attention, as we 
contemplate the awM scene of the ruin of 
Jerusalem and the Jewish people. The land 
was at that time in a high state of cultivation, 
rich in produce of all kinds, abundantly 
sprinkled with towns and populous villages. 
Tacitus and Josephus both speak in high 
terms of the strength, martial courage, and 
contempt of death, which characterized its 
people. This prosperity, which had much 
increased, even during the reign of Herod the 
Great, must appear striking in its contrast on 
the very eve of the day of destruction. Our 



Digitized by 



Google 



66 JERUSALEM AND BOME. 

Saviour's words were not spoken in vain, when 
he likened the city to Sodom and Gotnorrah, 
surprised by fire from heaven in the midst of 
their daily occupations and enjoyments; and 
does not his word foretel that thus it will be 
also at the coming of the Son of Man t 

Before, however, the iron hand of Rome 
might bring desolation upon Judea and Jeru- 
salem, they were destined to behold the 
triumphs of the Gospel of Christ, and the 
sufferings of its martyrs. Jerusalem should 
yet witness the pouring out of the Holy Spirit 
upon the disciples, the martyrdom of St. 
Stephen, the conversion of St. Paul, the death of 
the two James's, and the establishment of the 
first Christian synod within its walls. When 
the Gospel had " gone forth from Jerusalem," 
the day of judgment dawned upon the city 
which had slain the prophets and the Messiah. 
About seventy years after the birth of Christ, 
and his presentation in the temple, about forty 
yeai-s after he had foretold its final destruction, 
the typical law having received at Golgotha 
its entire fulfilment, and accomplished its 
purpose in the kingdom of God, gave place to 
the new covenant. In the year 68, the 
apostles had most of them finished their course, 
St. Paul and St. Peter had suffered martyrdom. 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM AND ROME* 67 

and a violent persecution of the Christians 
begun at Rome, under Nero ; St. John alone 
had survived. 

Judea became, after the death of Herod the 
Great and the deposition of his son Archelaus, 
a Roman province. Under Pontius Pilate, 
the clouds seemed gathering for a storm of 
insurrection, which was nearly breaking forth 
when Cal^ula tried to compel the Jews to 
place his statue in the temple, but his death 
changed for a time the course of events and 
lulled the rising tempest. Claudius, the suc- 
cessor of Caligula, annexed the government of 
Judea to that of Galilee, and gave the sceptre 
to Herod Agrippa, so that the whole of 
Palestine was once more united under a 
descendant of Herod the Great.* At Herod 
Agrippa's death, Galilee alone remained 
under the joint government of his son Agrippa 
and Bemice, while Judea fell completely into 

* DeicendanU of Aniipater, the Bdomlta. 



f i i i ^ 

PhaBMl. Herod the Ot. Joe^. 

^ \ \ 1 1 ^ 

Ailitobalus. ArebeUiu. Herod Philip. Herod Aatlpai. 
Slain 1>y Us (klher. Matt. U. 28. Mark vi. 17. Laheix.9. 
I Luke ilL 1. xxUl. 7—12. 

^ 1 ^ 

Herod AgrlpfMu 
Aciizli. 

n 1 i — N 

Agrippa. Bamlca. DrualUa. 



Digitized by 



Google 



68 JERUSALEM AND ROME. 

the power of the Romans, and was governed 
successively by Felix, Festus, Cuspius Fadus, 
and Gessius Floras. It was under the op- 
pressive rule of the latter, that the insurrection 
began, which ended in the destruction of the 
Jewish people. 

(a.d. 66.) In Gessius Floras, we have a speci- 
men of the grasping, covetous, and cruel Roman 
governor; he loaded the people with taxes, 
and treated them with contempt. Their exas- 
peration first vented itself in ridicule, — some 
one went round the city with a bag or basket, 
and begged for a trifle for the poor governor. 
This satire produced scenes of bloodshed, and 
these again were but fresh signals for the 
revolt which had long been ready to break 
out. Floras entered the city with his soldiers, 
and reeked his vengeance upon some thou- 
sands of the inhabitants, whom he massacred 
without regard to age, sex, or condition. 
Even the intercession of Queen Bernice, who 
was then visiting Jerusalem, was of no avail. 
For a moment, it appeared possible that a 
reconciliation might be effected between the 
contending parties ; for, at the solicitation of 
the priests and elders, the Jews reluctantly 
consented to meet and salute the Roman 
legions recalled from Ceesarea, as a means of 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM AND ROME. 69 

re-establishing peace. A foreboding and dis- 
dainful silence was, however, the only answer 
vouchsafed by the Romans to their greeting. 
Then a cry of indignation was raised by the 
Jews, thus cruelly provoked. The legion drew 
their swords, the Jews rose in a body and 
occupied the citadel of Antonio, near the 
Temple. Both parties appealed to Cestius, 
the governor of Syria, and he, desiring to 
reinstate florus, demanded an unconditional 
submission. He was responded to with the 
cry of "War, war, with Edom!"* repeated 
from every part of the Jewish dominions. 
Eang Agrippa, and the moderate party at 
Jerusalem, tried to calm the minds of the 
people, but Cestius came up to quell the in- 
surrection by force. Afler seizing a few 
strongholds, he was completely surrounded by 
his enemies, who rose and seemed to multiply 
on all sides; the Romans retired, weeping 
with rage, having only escaped complete de- 
struction by the successful result of a strata- 
gem, (a.d. 68.) The tidings that Judea was 
in a state of insurrection, struck terror into 
the heart of Nero, in the midst of his fearful 
debaucheries. He imagined that the safety 

* Rome is designated as Edom by the Rabbinical 
writers. 



Digitized by 



Google 



70 FLAYIUS JOSEl^HUS. 

of the empire was threatened, and sent Ves- 
pasian, a man raised from the ranks by his 
tried valonr and skill, at the head of a formid- 
able army, accompanied by his son Titns, and 
Trajan, 'father of the emperor of that name. 
In the mean while, the insurrection was 
spreading and becoming organized, amidst 
the signs and foreboding of calamity foretold 
by the Lord. The command of Upper and 
Lower Galilee was intrusted to Josephus, the 
son of Mattathias, sprung from a family be- 
longing to the priesthood, and descended on 
the mother's side from the Asmonean race. 
This general, famed also as a cotemporary 
historian, formed his plans of defence at Ga~ 
mala, where he awaited the Boman army, 
who, with their auxiliary forces of Syrians, 
Arabs, and Egyptian horsemen, marched 
against him, under, the golden eagle of the 
Caesars. The towns of Galilee were first at- 
tacked, and Josephus sustained a siege of 
forty-seven days at Jotapater, with a courage 
and military skill which has obtained uni- 
versal admiration. He was at length obliged 
to abandon his position, after 4000 Jews (ac- 
cording to his usually exaggerated calculation) 
had perished in the defence and capture of 
the town. Josephus held out for some time 



Digitized by 



Google 



FtAYins J08EFHU8. 71 

longer, having concealed himself with forty of 
his soldiers in a subterranean passage. Hav* 
ing escaped alive, almost by miracle, he sur- 
rendered himself to Vespasian, and foretold 
to the future emperor the high destiny that 
awaited him. Though guarded for some time 
as a prisoner, he was subsequently released, 
and treated with peculiar favour by the two 
generals, from whom he received the name of 
Flavins. From that time he never bore arms 
against the Bomans, but acted to the end as 
a mediator, endeavouring, in concert with 
King Agrippa, to use his influence in bring- 
ing about a capitulation upon equitable terms. 
He survived the destruction of Jerusalem, 
his life, and all his property being secured to 
him by favour of the emperor. He wrote a 
" History of the War between the Jews and 
the Bomans," a ** History of the Jewish 
Nation,*' and memoirs of his own life, all in- 
teresting sources of information, and mostly 
to be depended upon as faithful recitals of 
the almost unexampled events which came 
within his own observation. He exhibits more 
partiality to the conqueror than to his own 
people, without quite losing sight of his own 
nationality. When, however, his national pride 
appears, it is mingled with too much self- 



Digitized by 



Google 



72 FLAYIUS JOSEPHUS. 

complacency. We may easUy conceive the 
treatment such a character would meet with 
from its cotemporaries, especially the Zealots. 
By their party, his conduct during the siege 
of Jerusalem was looked upon as open 
treachery against his country and his people. 
The fresh interest taken in our time, in all 
that concerns the Jewish people, has essen- 
tially modified the opinion which the Chris- 
tian world had formed of Josephus. His 
History was long considered only as the tes- 
timony of an unconverted Jew, who witnessed 
and described the misfortunes of his country. 

In our days, a different view, in many 
respects, is taken of the subject. Modem 
Jewish criticism complains that in taking for 
granted the whole testimony of Josephus, we 
only hear one side of the question.* Those 
who take this view endeavour to establish, by 
means of Josephus's works, the arguments 
and reasons of his political antagonists, 
especially those of John of Giscala, the 
famous Zealot, the memoirs of whose party 
have not passed down to us. Josephus is 
blamed by Christians also for his want of 
patriotism, and his prejudice in favour of the 

* '^ A History of the Boman Dominion in Judea, and 
the Destruction of Jerusalem, bj Salvador." Paris, 1847. 



Digitized by 



Google 



FLAT1D8 J08EPHUS. 73 

most cruel enemies of his nation. It is no 
longer thought to add to his credit, who, taking 
no Christian view of the subject, was ignorant 
of the greatest and real crime of Israel, that 
he displayed so much severity towards his 
countrymen, and so much admiratioif for the 
desolators of Jerusalem,* In making these 
remarks, we do not mean to detract from the 
great value of Josephus's testimony, or to over- 
look the evident guidance of God, in appoint- 
ing that the crimes and wickedness of which 
the nation were guilty should be recorded by 
the pen of a cotemporary Jewish historian. 
The tendency of Christians in our days is to 
sympathize with the sufferings of the Jewish 
people, while recognising in them judgments 
inflicted by God himself. Thus they can no 
longer look with undivided admiration upon 
the authors of aU this misery, or disregard the 
bravery, and even, humanly speaking, the jus^ 
tice of catise on the Jewish side, in their 
struggle with Rome. If, however, we consider 
the circumstances in which Josephus was 
placed, and the peculiar features of his cha- 
racter, we shall no longer be surprised at his 
own conduct, or the views he was led to take 
of the events before him. 

* See Charlotte Elizabeth's <' Judea Capta." 



Digitized by 



Google 



74 THE THREE PARTIES. 

During the war between the Jews and the 
Romans, we may notice among the former, 
three distinct parties: — the aristocratic, or 
Conservatiye party, who desired peace; that 
of the Zealots, whose aim was entire deliver- 
ance from the Soman power ; lastly, that of 
the Sicarii, or ultra-Revolutionists, men of 
bloodshed and pillage. We find, long before 
this time, both in the history of Josephus, and 
even in the gospels, these three difierent 
parties beginning to manifest themselves.* 
It was but natural that all should feel equal 
hatred and aversion to the Roman dominion, 
modified, however, by the difference of rank 
and situation. Nor was it less in accordance 
with the spirit of the times, that these three 
parties, stirred up by fierce and angry discus^ 
sions, should be as ready to draw their swords 
upon one another, as to use their united efforts 
against the common enemy. Josephus be« 
longed by birth, rank, and natural disposition, 
to the first of these, the aristocracy of the 
country. 

Sharing but feebly, even in a worldly- 
minded manner, the national expectation 
of a Messiah, he could not oppose to Roman 
tyranny the zeal, or rather, fanaticism, 
* St John xi. 48, 49; Acts v. S6; xzi. 32; xziii. 12. 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM AND ROME. 75 

of the Zealots, or religious Jews, who were iu 
constant expectation of a Messiah, whose 
earthly rule should be established, they 
imagined, by force of arms. 

As long as Josephus considered that 
oppression and ill-treatment gave the Jews 
just cause of complaint and resistance, he 
exhausted in their defence all the enthusiasm 
he possessed, and exerted the great talents 
with which he was really endowed ; but when 
Gessius Florus and Gallus Cestius were re- 
placed by Vespasian and Titus, we cannot be 
surprised at his taking quite a different view 
of affairs, and choosing for himself the position 
he afterwards occupied, between the Romans 
and his fellow-countrymen, which he sustained 
with dignity amidst the reproaches and vocife- 
rations of his enemies. 

He knew the inexhaustible resources of 
Bome, and, more than ever convinced, after 
the siege and taking of Jotapata, that the 
courage of the Jews, though desperate in its 
character, could not cope with the science and 
discipline of the Soman army, he only sought 
the means of saving his country by a padfica- 
tion, which he continued to the last to 
offer and recommend to his countrymen, in 
the name of the Roman General. In taking 
X 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



76 JERUSALEM AMD ROME. 

a view of these events, though we may reproach 
Josephus with the want of true patriotism, we 
should not overlook the value of his testimony, 
the real superiority of which we are daUy 
better able to appreciate. His topographical 
knowledge of the country and the holy city, 
his acquaintance with the military tactics, 
both of the Jews and Romans, and his skill in 
the art of fortification, place Josephus on a 
line of equality with writers such as Vigetius 
and Polybius. 

To return to the history. In Galilee, 
Gamala also fell into the hands of the Ro- 
mans, after a heroic defence, in which both 
Vespasian and his son were wounded. The 
way to Jerusalem was now open, but import- 
ant tidings from Italy arrested, for a time, 
the progress of the Roman arms in Palestine. 
Nero had been declared by the Roman Senate 
an enemy of the State, and had killed himself; 
Galba and Otho, having reigned each a few 
days, were succeeded by Vitellius, proclaimed 
Emperor by the Roman legions in Germany. 
During these revolutions, Vespasian remained 
in camp, under the walls of Ceesarea. It is 
most probable, that, during this involuntary 
armistice, the Christians at Jerusalem, obeying 
the injunctions of our Lord, escaped to PeUa, 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM AND ROME. 77 

among the mountains. (St. Luke xx. 20^ 21.) 
Vespasiam was soon after proclaimed Emperor 
by the troops before Gaesarea, and hastened, in 
consequence, to Borne, leaving the command 
of the war, and the siege of Jerusalem, to his 
son Titus. 

It was in the spring of the year 70, that 
Titus, assembling his legions at Ceesarea, gave 
orders to the fifth legion to march upon Em- 
maus — to the tenth, to fall upon Jericho, and to 
the twelfth, (still burning with desire to efface 
their defeat under Cestius) to post itself upon 
the Mount of Olives. The feast of the Pass- 
over was at hand, and an immense multitude 
of Israelites were assembled at Jerusalem ; so 
that when Titus and his allies marched against 
the city, it contained, according to Josephus, 
2,700,000 persons. At first, the attack and 
defence were carried on with equal fury ; but 
to the violent and repeated sallies of the be- 
sieged, which had surprised and scattered the 
tenth legion, the Komans subsequently opposed 
a determination to remain immovable as the 
solid rock, which stands unshaken amidst the 
raging billows that break upon it. Brilliant 
and imposing in appearance, with its formidable 
array of warlike engines, was the army which 
Titus posted upon the north side of Jerusalem. 



Digitized by 



Google 



78 SIEGE OF JERUSALEM. 

From thence he overlooked the beautiful city, 
seated on her two mountains, and the valley 
between them filled with citizens, all armed, 
all on the watch. On the east side, the upper 
town was at once adorned and defended by 
the Temple, and the tower of Antonia. The 
lower town had before been partially demo- 
lished in the time of the Maccabees. On the 
south side was Zion, the city of David, while 
a triple wall, defended by ninety towers, sur- 
rounded the whole extent. of the city. The 
siege lasted five months; at the end of the first, 
the Roman cohorts, after many bloody con- 
flicts, took possession of the first wall, and the 
northern suburb of Bezetha fell into the hands 
of Titus. Five days after, the second wall 
was taken by the Roman General, who made 
way through the breach with 2,000 men, and 
subdued the new town, which formed the 
centre of industry and commerce at Jerusalem. 
Then began the second and more dreadful 
part of the siege. For two months (from the 
end of April to the beginning of July) the 
Romans had been casting up works against 
the tower of Antonia, from which the Roman 
governor of Jerusalem formerly overlooked the 
Temple, and put a check on the whole force of 
the people. (Acts xxL 34.) Titus again 



Digitized by 



Google 



8IEOE OF JERUSALEM* 79 

attempted to persuade the Jews to capitulate. 
He sent Josephus to them, with proposals of 
clemency ; but the Zealots received him with 
derision, and with showers of stones. A fearful 
series of crucifixions of the Jewish prisoners 
then took place by command of Titus, but this 
also failed to make any impression upon the 
besieged. They even gained ground against 
the Romans, and it seemed for a moment pos- 
sible that the tide of war might even yet be 
turned. The Jews contrived, by a successful 
mining operation, and an attack conducted 
simultaneously by Simon, the son of Oioras, 
and John, of Giscala, to destroy the engines of 
the besiegers, and even subject them to a con- 
siderable defeat. While affairs were in this 
state, the plan formed by Titus was adopted 
in a council of war held by the captains : his 
proposal took a middle line, between those 
who desired an immediate attack and those 
who would reduce the city by famine alone. 
It was to compass the whole city with a wall, 
surmounted by thirteen towers, at a little dis- 
tance from the third and last wall remaining 
to the Jews. This work, which, under ordinary 
circumstances, would have^taken three months 
to complete, was actually raised in three days, 
by the incredible activity of the Romans. 



Digitized by 



Google 



80 8IEOE OF JERUSALEM. 

Thus unexpectedly were the words of our 
Lord, in his address to Jerusalem, literally 
fulfilled. (Luke xix.) " For ♦ the days shall 
come that thine enemies shall cast a trench 
about thee, and keep thee in on every side, 
and thy children within thee." From that 
time the miseries endured by the besieged are 
beyond recital ; then was fulfilled, to the very 
letter, the heart-rending prophecy, " the pitiful 
women have sodden their own children ;*' then 
was there indeed Woe upon Jerusalem. 

After many fearful struggles, the citadel of 
Antonia was taken and demolished by the 
Romans, and Titus stationed his victorious 
army upon Mount Moriah. He once more 
made an offer of pardon, which was answered 
as usual by an obstinate rejection, and the 
same day the Romans planted their formidable 
battering rams against the Temple. For six 
days the indomitable courage of its defenders, 
and the immense solidity of its waUs, resisted 
every effort. At length, however, the sanc- 
tuary itself was carried; and though the 
day before Titus, in a council of war, had 
given the. strictest injunctions that the 
Temple should be preserved; yet in the 

• Tl€pipaXowrw ol €)(Bpoi ^nm yapoKd. croc, iceu ircpua;fcX«MraiKri 
<rc, Kox <rvyi(ov<rt o-e muro^cv. 



Digitized by 



Google 



SIEGE OF JERUSALEM. 81 

fury and confusion of the conflict, a burning 
torch was thrown by one of the Boman soldiers 
into a chamber near the Holy of Holies, and 
the fire which ensued defied every effort to 
subdue it. Thus were fulfilled the words of 
Daniel : " The people of the prince that shall 
come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary ; 
and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and 
unto the end of the war desolations are de- 
termined." (Dan. ix. 26.) On the fourteenth 
day of the seventieth year did the daily 
sacrifice cease in Israel. It was on the ninth 
of Ab that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the first 
Temple, and on the same day, 168 years after, 
the golden eagle of Rome was raised on the 
site of the second Temple. In this extremity, 
the besieged began to entertain thoughts of a 
surrender, and demanded a parley. They 
offered to abandon the city to the conquerors 
on condition of being allowed to leave it 
themselves with their wives and children. The 
besiegers on their side were now inflexible, and 
the Jews throwing themselves into the royal 
palace, defended the upper town with the same 
desperate courage with which they had dis- 
puted every inch of the lower. Another 
victory was gained by the Romans with in- 
credible effort and fearful bloodshed, and on 
£ 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



82 THE TAKING OF JERUSALEM. 

the 8th of September the sun rose upon the 
smoking ruins alone of the city, deluged with 
the blood of its inhabitants. The end was 
come. Many days were devoted to wreaking 
vengeance on the vanquished, pillaging the 
city, and crucifying the remaining inhabitants. 
After the taking of Jerusalem, many strong- 
holds, such as Herodion, Macaira, and Massada, 
fell into the hands of the Komans, after being 
defended by the Jews to the last extremity, 
and not then surrendered, but abandoned to 
the enemy, who found in them only the dead 
bodies of their inhabitants, who had put one 
another to death. 

When Titus, standing upon the ruins of the 
prostrate city, contemplated his triumph, he is 
said to have exclaimed, '^ It is in truth a god 
who has given us the victory and driven the 
Jews from a position from which no human 
power could ever have dislodged them." Jo- 
sephus, who relates this circumstance, states 
also, that 1,100,000 men perished during this 
fatal war, either in its conflicts, sieges, and 
assaults, or by the hand of the executioner. 
An immense multitude of prisoners, men, 
women, and children, were either sold into 
slavery, crucified, or thrown to wild beasts. 
The General was lavish in praise of the valour 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE TRIUMPH OF TITITS. 83 

of his legions, and a solemn triumph was 
decreed to him hy the Senate* 

Three days before the close of the memorable 
year 70, the Emperor Vespasian and his son 
Titus, habited in purple, and crowned with 
laurel, entered Rome by the gate of triumph, 
followed by their proud warriors, and by the 
acclamations of the delighted populace, on 
their way to the temple of victory. Among 
the trophies carried before and after the 
triumphal car of the victor, besides many 
designs representing various passages of the 
war, were the holy vessels of the Temple at 
Jerusalem, its golden table, its seven-branched 
candlestick, and the book of the law of Moses. 
The strongest and finest looking of the 
prisoners were led chained to the car of 
triumph ; among them was Simon, the son of 
Gioras, who, amidst the shouts of the brutal 
multitude, was beaten and slain by the lictors 
on the Tarpeian rock, and John of Giscala, 
who was doomed to a perpetual imprison- 
ment 

Vespasian dedicated a temple to the goddess 
of peace in honour of this day, and bronze and 
marble were employed to immortalize his 
triumph. Few are unacquainted with the Roman 
medal, representing Judea as a weeping female, 
resting her head on her hand, at the foot of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



84 THE TRIUMPH OF TITUS. 

palm of her country, while the fierce Roman 
soldier stands by unmoved. 

A faithful representation of the holy vessels 
of the Temple still remains to us in the sculp- 
tures decorating the marble arch, called by the 
name of the Victor, by the erection of which 
the vain-glory of the Eoman Emperor has 
transmitted to posterity a most interesting 
memorial of the dreadful conflict between 
Rome and Jerusalem, and given an involuntary 
testimony of the truth of Holy Scripture, in 
which those fearful judgments had been long 
before predicted. 

Even to this day, the Jews in every country 
of their exile and dispersion have continued to 
observe the 9th day of the month Ab, in 
memorial of both the first and second 
destruction of their city and sanctuary. Next 
to the great day of atonement, it is the most 
strictly kept of their fasts. Even the day 
before, the pious Israelite takes nothing beyond 
what absolute necessity requires : he seats 
himself on the ground, either at home or in 
the synagogue, by the dim light of a small 
candle, and the evening service commences 
with the 138th Psalm:— *' By the waters of 
Babylon we sat down and wept." Mournful 
and penitential psalms are chanted in succession 
throughout the day, especially the Lamentations 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE FEAST OF AB. 85 

of Jeremiah, of which so many striking features, 
once fulfilled in the taking of Jerusalem by the 
Babylonians, were still more signally ac- 
complished, in its destruction by the RoraansI* 
Let us look at one touching passage, taken 
from the mournful prophet of Israel, which is 
repeated on the fast of Ab in the synagogues 
of the dispersed and captive nation : — 

1 How is the gold tarnished ! 
The good pure gold changed ! 

The stones of the sanctuary poured out at the 
end of every street ; 

2 The precious sons of Zion, 
Likened unto refined gold. 

How are they counted as earthen vessels, 
"Work of the hands of the potter ! 

3 Even the jackals draw out the breast, 
They give suck to their young ; 

The daughter of my people is cruel. 
Like the ostriches of the desert. 

4 The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to its 

jaws for thirst, 
The little children ask bread — ^no one breaketh it 
to them. 
* In the synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, 
since their expulsion from the country in the fifteenth 
century, these chapters of Jeremiah are read with their 
Jadeo-Spanish translation, as if to connect the remem- 
brance of the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of 
Rome with the banishment of the Jews from their 
adopted country by the Jnguisitian of Rome, 



Digitized by 



Google 



86 THE FEAST OF AB. 

5 Thej that fed upon dainties^ — are desolate in 

the streets. 
Brought up upon couches of scarlet, — they lie 
upon dunghills. 

6 And the iniquity of the daughter of my people 

is become greater than the sin of Sodom. 
Whose overthrow was sudden. 
And no hand undermined her. 

7 Her princes were purer than snow. 
They were whiter than milk, 
They were more ruddy than rubies, 
Their body as a sapphire, 

8 Their faces are darker than blackness. 
They are not recognised in the streets ; 
Their skin cleaveth to the bones. 
They are withered as a stick. 

9 The slain with the sword were happier than those 

slain with hunger, 
For they died pierced through, — ^but these for 
lack of the finiits of the field. 

10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden 

their children. 
They were their sustenance in the destruction of 
the daughter of my people. 

1 1 Jehovah hath spent his wfath. 

He hath poured out the fury of his anger. 
And hath kindled a fire in Zion, 
It hath consumed her foundations. 

12 The kings of the earth had not believed. 
Nor the inhabitants of the world. 

That an adversary or an enemy would come into 
the gates of Jerusalem. 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 87 

13 For the sins of her prophets. 
The iniquity of her priesthood. 

Who shed the blood of the righteous in the midst 
of her. 

14 Thej wandered as the blind in the streets, 
They were defiled with blood, 

So that men could not touch their garments. 

15 Depart, O unclean, they cry to them. Depart, 

depart, approach not ! 
For they were made desolate, they also wandered. 
And it was said by the nations, They shall not 

continue to sojourn. 

16 The wrath of Jehovah hath scattered them. 
He will no more look upon them. 

They have not shown honour to the priests. 
They have not respected the aged. 

17 Our eyes are still dim. 

With looking for our help in vain, 
In watching we have watched, 
For a nation that cannot save. 

18 They have constantly laid a snare 
For all that walk in our streets ; 

Our end is near, they have filled our days. 
For our end is come. 

19 They that pursued us were swifter than the 

ei^Ies of heaven. 
They chased us upon the mountains. 
They laid wait for us in the wilderness. 

Lam. iv. 1 — 19. 

Jerusalem had fallen, and the prediction of 



Digitized by 



Google 



88 JERUSALEM. 

Jesus concerning the city, its Temple, and its 
inhabitants was accomplished. But the pro- 
phecies of misery were not completely fulfilled, 
the sentence not executed to the utmost, nor 
the history of Jerusalem yet ended. 

The Temple was burned, the town and its 
inhabitants destroyed, the " city of the great 
king " had become a ruin. But to this ruin a 
history belongs, which has not yet come to a 
close; a history which bears the annals of 
more than 1800 years. The prophecies of 
God's Word also speak of this ruin, these dry 
bones which shall one day live. *^ Jerusalem 
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until 
the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 
xxi. 24.) The subject we have taken in hand 
requires us to give a short view of this treading 
underfoot^ to which it was subjected successively 
by Christians, Persians, Saracens, Egyptians, 
Franks, and Turks. 

Our sketch will begin in the time of Titus, 
Trajan, and Adrian, and extend to the times 
of Mehemet Ali and Abdoul ; from the days of 
Simon, the son of Gioras, and John of Giscala 
to those of Sir Moses Montefiore; and the 
foundation in these latter days of a Protestant 
Christian Bishopric at Jerusalem. 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 89 

We have already mentioned, that the pro- 
phecies concerning Jerusalem, and the exist* 
ence of Judea, were not entirely accomplished. 
Truly, according to the words of our Saviour, 
on the Mount of Olives, one stone of the 
Temple and its magnificent buildings had not 
been left upon another; but, in Jerusalem 
itself, there still remained standing three out 
of the ninety towers which formerly guarded 
its walls. The towers of Hippicus, Phasael, and 
Mariamne still remained, and after the days of 
Vespasian and Titus became again strongholds 
of the people of Israel, not yet entirely dis- 
couraged by their preceding overthrow. 

It is also very remarkable, that, among the 
judgments which should follow the rejection of 
Messiah, our Lord had foretold the appearance 
of false prophets and false Christs; and this 
sign of the times had as yet been wanting. 
No one heading the revolts against Nero and 
the Vespasians ever assumed the title of 
Messiah, or King of Israel ! But exactly half a 
century after the destruction of Jerusalem, a 
similar insurrection under the conduct of a 
pseudo-Messiah exhibits a yet more formidable 
struggle between the Jewish people and the 
Romans, with a more completely decisive issue. 
In this point of view the revolt under Bar 



Digitized by 



Google 



90 * BAR COCHBA. 

Cochba* and his companion, or Prophet Akiba, 
is a marked epoch in the history of Israers 
overthrow as a nation by the Roman Emperor. 

It is, however, to be regretted that after the 
complete annals of the first destruction of 
Jerusalem, given us by Josephus, an eye- 
witness, we have no regular or detailed narra- 
tive ; so that the account of the revolt under 
Bar Cochba comes down to us more as a kind 
of legend than as matter of history. The 
Danish Bishop Munster, celebrated for his 
research into the history of the Jews after 
their rejection of the Messiah, notwithstanding 
the interesting result of his inquiries, remarks 
upon the numerous blanks which occur at this 
period, and expresses a doubt of their being 
ever filled up. The following particulars, 
however, seem to be well authenticated. 

In the reign of the Emperor Trajan, the 
first outbreaks began of a fresh revolt of the 
Jews against the Romans. In the year a.d. 
116, the Emperor, having been victorious in 
person over all the Asiatic powers, and ex- 
tended his dominion nearly to the capital of 
Farthia, was reposing, like Alexander the 

* In later years, the Jews recognising the deception 
practised upon them, sumomed him Bar Coziba, or, son of 
a lie. 



Digitized by 



Google 



BAR COCHBA. 91 

Great, at Babylon, after his daring and suc- 
cessful exploits; when the announcement 
reached him on the spot, that a general revolt 
was breaking out among the Jews, all along 
the coast of the Mediterranean, in Cyprus, 
Egypt, and Cyrene. In the latter province 
an almost incredible amount of Greeks and 
Eomans are said to have perished by the hands 
of the Jews. The insurrection spread to the 
banks of the Euphrates, and the Romans feared 
an alliance between the Jews and Farthians, 
which, in fact, soon took place. Trajan removed 
to Antioch, but, being taken ill there, died on 
his way to Rome. JSlius Adrian, a relation 
of his, also of Spanish extraction, succeeded 
him. During the first years of his reign, the 
General Martins Turbo quelled the disturb- 
ances among the Jews of Asia and Egypt, 
which were only a prelude to the general 
insurrection in Palestine during the last years 
of the reign of Adrian. It was about the year 
A.D. 133, nearly twenty years after the insur- 
rection quelled by Martins Turbo, and sixty 
years after the destruction of Jerusalem, that 
the approach of the seventieth year, so happy 
a period at the time of the first captivity, 
brought to maturity a plan which had long 
been forming in the hearts of the people. 



Digitized by 



Google 



92 BAR COCHBA. 

The elders of Israel, who had in their youthful 
days heheld the glory of the Temple, flattered 
themselves and the people with the hope that 
they should soon witness the re-establishment 
of their nation, and the rebuilding of their 
city and temple. 

Adrian, always, and not without cause, mis- 
trustful of the Jews, kindled by his very pre- 
cautions the spark which set the whole country 
in a blaze; when he decreed that Jerusalem 
should be made a Roman colony, with the 
name of JElia Capitolina, and prohibited the 
ceremony of circumcision. About this time 
the Emperor visited in person the provinces of 
Syria and Egypt. A profound stillness then 
reigned in Palestine, but hardly had Adrian 
reached the more remote Asiatic provinces, 
when the insurrection broke out with incon- 
ceivable fury. Bether, or Bethhoron, to the 
north-west of Jerusalem, became the head- 
quarters of revolt, and the seat of its leader 
Bar Cochba. There, many thousands of the 
Jewish people flocked to him from all parts, 
and declared him their Prince and Messiah of 
the house of David. From thence he extended 
his conquests as far as Syria, persecuted the 
Christians, who refused to join the insurrec- 
tion, and took possession of Jerusalem, where 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 93 

he changed the form of the Samaritan coins, 
hy the addition of his own name, with the title 
of Nasi, or Prince. 

This guerilla warfare continued for four 
years. The slaughter then made among the 
Romans was quite unprecedented, to judge 
from the expressions of their own writers, 
who describe this war " as a shaking of the 
whole earth." They even assert, that on this 
occasion the Emperor omitted the formulary 
with which his communications to the Senate 
were usually headed, viz., " I and the army fare^ 
well." Jerusalem was ere long retaken by 
Titus Annius Bufus, who subsequently gained 
possession of fifty strongholds, and 980 town- 
ships, including Bether. By a last effort, in 
which the Emperor exerted, as it were, all his 
strength, the war was brought to a close ; and 
after incredible exertions and immense loss, 
the ancient and tenacious enemy of Rome was 
effectually crushed. 

Titus had destroyed the capital of Judea, 
but Adrian made the whole country of Pales- 
tine a desolation, and completed the expulsion 
of its inhabitants and their dispersion over all 
the earth, a.d. 136. Aft;er this last conflict, 
we hear no more of Bar Cochba, though it is 
uncertain if he fell by the hands of the Romans 



Digitized by 



Google 



9d JERUSALEM. 

or of his own countrymen. Akiba was taken 
and executed ; tradition relates that he suffered 
by torture. About 680,000 Jews perished in 
the four years of this murderous warfare, and 
thousands of prisoners were sold at the very 
lowest price ; others found a reiuge in foreign 
lands, a great number of whom joined the 
Jewish colonies already established in Spain. 

wMia Capitolina had risen into a city, but 
Mount Zion was no longer within the walls of 
this heathen Jerusalem; a temple to Jupiter 
Capitolinus occupied the spot where the house 
of Jehovah formerly stood ; and over the Beth- 
lehem gate was placed the image of a pig, the 
abomination of the Jews, but a favourite device 
of the Romans. At Golgotha, a statue of 
Venus was erected; at Bethlehem, a temple 
to Adonis. The Jews were forbidden on pain 
of death to approach or inhabit ^lia Capito* 
Una ; this decree remained in force '200 years. 

From the time of Antoninus, the successor 
of Adrian, the ordinance of circumcision was 
allowed to the Jews themselves, but not to 
proselytes. Jerusalem being thus made entirely 
a Roman town, the Jews fixed the head quar- 
ters of their national religion at Tiberias, 
where they first committed to writing the 
Mishna, or oral law. The Christians consoled 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 95 

themselyes with the expectation of the New 
Jerusalem from heaven, foretold in the wrifr- 
ings of the Jewish prophets, and of St. John, 
the prophetic apostle. Christianity, sprung 
from among the Jews, had hy this time gained 
a spiritual victory over the nation which had 
materially subdued them and the world. 

A Christian hishop was ordained for j£lia, 
who, in process of time, ventured to call him- 
self the Bishop of Jerusalem, and in the days 
of Constantine he received the title and autho- 
rity of Patriarch. One hishop of JElia suf- 
fered martyrdom under the Emperor Decius. 

The effects of the Emperor Constantino's 
conversion to Christianity were of course 
speedily felt at the JElia Capitolina ; the city 
resumed its ancient name, but became from 
that time a Christian, or rather Romish Jeru- 
salem. The Emperor *s mother, Helena, found- 
ed churches at Bethlehem and on the Mount 
of Olives. The Emperor himself was pre- 
sent at the consecration of the church at Jeru- 
salem, when Eusebius, Bishop of Csesarea, 
addressed the multitude, (a.d. 335.) Later 
writers speak of thirty churches built by the 
Empress Helena in different parts of the Holy 
Land; Jerusalem became again the metro- 



Digitized by 



Google 



96 JERUSALEM. 

polls of Christian piety, but also a stronghold 
of antichristian superstition. 

The discovery of the holy sepulchre, and 
the real or pretended remains of the cross, 
opened a door to image worship, which soon 
clouded, like a swarm of locusts, the whole 
atmosphere of the Christian world, and hid 
from many eyes the beams of its sun. 

When Julian the Apostate succeeded Con- 
stantine, Jerusalem was again brought into 
notice by a strange league formed between 
the Imperial heathen philosopher and the dis- 
persed people of Judea, to belie, if possible, 
the fulfilment of the prophecies, by rebuilding 
the Temple. Authorized and encouraged by 
Julian, the Jews from all parts assembled at 
Jerusalem, and commenced the work of re- 
storing their sanctuary; men, women, and 
children, in their festival garments, began the 
work, and with tools richly adorned, laboured 
at preparing the foundations, when, all at 
once, balls of subterranean fire burst from the 
spot, accompanied with an earthquake and 
hurricanes of wind, which compelled them to 
discontinue the work. Every hope of resum- 
ing it was soon crushed by the death 
of the Emperor Julian, (a.d. 410.) This 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 97 

fact is related by Ammianus Marcellinus, a 
historian of the time, allowed by all to be an 
impartial writer; and Jost, one of the latest 
Jewish historians, though he tries to account 
for the event as a natural phenomenon, proves, 
by 80 doing, that the fact really did occur, 
and that it is impossible to deny it. After 
the death of Julian, the emperors who suc- 
ceeded him were all, by profession, Christian. 
Under their rule, Jerusalem became the object 
of innumerable pilgrimages to Christians, 
Jews, and, in later times, Mahometans. This 
age of pilgrimages, which began 1500 years 
ago, is interesting to look back upon, espe- 
cially as we may include in it the Crusades, 
which were, in fact, a kind of warlike pilgrim- 
age. In those early times, also, an immense 
number of pilgrims, hermits, and monks es- 
tablished themselves at Jerusalem and in the 
neighbourhood ; 11,000 of such inhabitants are 
said to have stationed themselves in cells and 
caves of the rock, near the brook Kedron. 
The adoration of relics increased so rapidly, 
and the disinterment of bones in the Holy 
Land was carried to auch an absurd extent, 
that Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, and even 
Jerome, were compelled to raise their voices 
against it. 



Digitized by 



Google 



98 JERUSALEM. 

During the reign of Justinian, in the sixth 
century, our attention is again drawn to the 
Jews at Jerusalem, who, with the Samaritans, 
raised a fearful rebellion, which was again 
crushed, after many difficulties and much loss 
of life. At this time, the city itself was pros- 
pering, and the riches and luxury of its 
inhabitants were displayed in its edifices. 

(a.d. 614.) Under Heraclius, one of the suc- 
cessors of Justinian, Chosroes, King of Persia, 
who inherited the animosity which the Par- 
thians had formerly exhibited towards the 
Roman Empire, appeared with a great army 
in Palestine. Jerusalem was soon taken by 
him, amidst the plaudits of the Jews, ever on 
friendly terms with the enemies of Kome and 
the Christians, of whom 90,000 are said to 
have been put to death. In the year 629 He- 
raclius retook the Holy City, carried back the 
cross to the church at Golgotha on his shoul- 
ders, and banished the Jews. Ere long, how- 
ever, the clouds began to gather for a fresh 
tempest, which threatened to overwhelm both 
Jerusalem and the Christian Church. Maho- 
met, the false prophet of Arabia, was laying 
the foundation of his new religion, and pro- 
pagating an imposture which yet retained 
enough of truth to cause his followers to look 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 99 

at once with reverence and cupidity upon the 
spot which had held the temple of Solomon 
and the tomh of Issa (Jesus), and to call Jeru- 
salem the noble, the blessed, and the holy 
city, the house of the sanctuary. Mahomet 
himself did not extend his conquests so far, 
but his successors made themselves masters of 
all Palestine, with its ancient capital. 

In the year a.d. 636, the white banner 
of the false prophet floated over the walls of 
Jerusalem. For ten days the Caliph Omar 
had assaulted the town, which was defended 
by Artabanus, while the Patriarch Sophro- 
nius stirred up the Christian inhabitants to a 
bold resistance. By the treaty of capitulation, 
Christians were allowed to remain in the 
town, but subjected to humiliating conditions. 
Omar founded a mosque upon Mount Moriah, 
and even thought for a moment of making 
the city the capital of his caliphate ; but he 
eventually returned to Medina, and Jerusalem 
remained, as before, the widowed city. 

In the year 799, we find Charlemagne Em- 
peror over Western Christendom, and Haroun- 
al-Ilaschid Caliph of Eastern Mahometanism. 
The Emperor sent, as ambassador to the 
Caliph, a Jew, of the name of Isaac, well 
known to the historians of his time, and 

p 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



100 JEKUSALEH. 

Al-Raschid delivered to Charlemagne the keys 
of the holy sepulchre. Pilgrimages to Jerusalem 
were undertaken from all parts of Europe ; 
and this city of all nations became known as 
far as China. 

At the close of the first 1000 years after 
the Christian era, the relative situation of the 
Christian nations of Europe and the Mahome- 
tan powers of Asia was entirely changed. At 
this epoch, looked upon by many as the time 
of the end, the sceptre of the East was swayed 
by Hakim Beararillah, the Nero of the Arabs ; 
who ferociously persecuted both Jews and 
Christians, leading the latter to believe that 
he was indeed the Antichrist 

About this time, a desire began to manifest 
itself throughout European Christendom to 
rescue the Holy City from the hands of the 
Infidels. Towards the close of the eleventh 
century, when the power of the Seldjukian 
Turks had succeeded to the expiring dominion 
of the two Caliphates, and their black banner 
waved over the City of Jerusalem, the first 
army of the Crusaders set forth for the Holy 
Land. The recital of all that the hermit Peter, 
and thousands of other pilgrims, had endured 
in the city of the holy sepulchre, related with 
zeal and indignation in all parts of Europe, 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 101 

touched the hearts and roused the spirit of all 
Christendom. 

The proposition of Urban 11. , in two great 
Councils held at Placentia and Clermont, was 
received with the cry, " It is the will of God ! 
It is the will of God !" An instant resolution 
was made, by great and small, princes, nobles, 
monks, freemen, and slaves, to bind the cross 
on their garments, and march to conquer the 
Holy City, and rescue the sacred tomb from 
the hands of the Infidels. Nine Crusades were 
undertaken, in the course of two centuries, 
against the Mahometans of Asia and Africa ; 
which were important in their results to the 
nations of the West, though their effects in 
the East were insignificant and transitory. 
We will not enter into a detailed account of 
the Crusades, but in imagination cast a glance 
at the majestic army which marched from 
Europe, in the year 1097, enrolling in its 
ranks the flower of the nobility of France, 
England, and Italy, and headed by the noble* 
hearted Godfrey de Bouillon, of whom it is 
recorded, that he refused to wear a crown of 
gold where his Saviour had been crowned with 
thorns. 

The Crusades afford an instance of the em- 
pire which Jerusalem, though solitary and 



Digitized by 



Google 



102 JERUSALEM. 

widowed, maintained over the heart and feel- 
ings of the nations : and we shall do well to 
notice the results which that influence pro- 
duced upon the Christian states of Europe, 
especially if we compare it with what was 
actually effected by them in the East. There, 
indeed, a few reminiscences, a few ruined 
buildings, are all that have survived! — while 
the effects produced by the Crusades, in every 
department of political and social life in 
Europe, have become matter of history. Among 
the attempts which characterize that age as a 
time of preparation for greater things, we may 
observe roads and canals made to facilitate 
mutual commercial intercourse between na- 
tions, an increased knowledge of geography 
and navigation, and a general impulse given, 
which urged men to fresh undertakings and 
more diligent investigations. The bonds of 
slavery were loosed, and citizens and yeomen 
rose to a state of influence and prosperity. 
Many heroic qualities were then displayed by 
the, nobles, drawn forth by that spirit of chi- 
valry which distinguished the age, and which, 
though not exclusively produced by the Cru- 
sades, was a fruit of Northern energy ripened 
beneath an Oriental sun. 

The grand military orders, which especially 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 103 

embody the spirit of the age, all took their 
rise during the Crusades, and were instituted 
in Palestine: hence their names, as the 
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, the Tem- 
plars, &c. The heraldry of the European 
nobility, though perhaps a little anterior in 
its origin, was subjected to form and rule 
during the time of the Crusades. We may 
date from thence the frequent use of the lion 
and the cross ; the one bringing to mind the 
ancient banner of Judah — the other a symbol 
of the Saviour's deepest humiliation, borne as a 
mark of honour. 

We have mentioned, that just before the 
Crusades began, the black banner of the Seld- 
jukian Turks was raised over Jerusalem, but 
the Egyptian Fatimites retook the town a 
little before its siege by the Crusaders. 

The first view of Jerusalem from the summit 
of that Mount of Olives from whence our 
Saviour had predicted the destruction of its 
city and temple, produced an effect upon the 
hardest and most hardened; all burst into 
tears. Even the beautiful poetry of Tasso 
must give place to Jacques de Vitry's touch- 
ing account in prose " of the Christian Knight 
kneeling in an ecstasy of devotion at the sight 
of the city, princess of nations, hereditary 



Digitized by 



Google 



104 J£RU8ALEM. 

possession of the patriarchs, nurse of the pro- 
phets, mother of the faith, cradle of salvation, 
honoured hy angels, visited hy all nations, 
chosen and sanctified by the Saviour, because 
there he himself hath stood." 

The Crusaders took the city the 11th of June, 
of the year 1097, and attempted to establish a 
kingdom of Jerusalem on its site. But such 
a kingdom, founded upon the principles of the 
feudal system, was not a plant " which the 
Lord had planted." In 1187 the Holy Qty 
fell again into the hands of the Mahometans, 
and a third crusade was undertaken to recon- 
quer it from the Kurds under Soliman, brother 
of Malek Adhel ; at the head of which were 
Philip Augustus of France, Richard Cceur 
de Lion of England, and Frederic Barbarossa. 
The result of the attempt was little answerable 
to the valour of its leaders. In the succeeding 
century, expectations were again raised by 
Frederic IL, to be again disappointed. He 
sought the conquest of Jerusalem as a point 
of honour alone, and obtained it with great 
concessions on the side of the Christians. 
Afterwards the town was repeatedly captured 
and re-captured by Saracens and Christians, 
till the year 1243, when it fell finally into the 
hands of the Txirks. European enthusiasm in 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEll. 105 

the cause had by that time so entirely evapo- 
rated, that Louis IX. of France refused a 
permission to visit the holy sepulchre; and 
two centuries after, Philip the Good of Bur- 
gundy found it impossible in any degree to 
revive a crusading spirit, though Constanti- 
nople itself was threatened by the Turks. 

The empty title of " King of Jerusalem " 
remained with the Crown of Sicily, and has 
passed in succession by marriage to the king- 
doms of Austria and Sardinia. But the chil- 
dren of the kingdom — the Jews, — what had 
become of themt The Crusaders usually 
commenced their expeditions to the Holy 
Land with a general massacre of the Jews; 
and when they took Jerusalem, the Israelites 
residing in it became a chief object of murder 
and pillage. 

Jerusalem, under the Turks, continued 
accessible both to Jews and Christians, though 
the attempt to visit it was not always a safe 
vone. 

In 1516, Jerusalem was once more retaken 
by its ancient masters the Ottomans, under 
Selim L, and from that time it has formed a 
part of the pachalic of Damascus. 

Between 1649 and 1666, a.d., a false Christ 
appeared for a short time at Jerusalem, and 
F 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



106 JERUSALEM. 

drew together a large body of followers ; but 
Sabbatai Sevi himself dispelled the illusion, 
by embracing Islamism, shortly after which 
he was put to death. 

As lately as during the eighteenth century, 
secret chapters were held at Jerusalem, and 
several European noblemen created Knights of 
the Holy Sepulchre, The close of the same 
century beheld Napoleon passing by Jerusa- 
lem without approaching it, in his expedition 
from Egypt into Syria. 

The nineteenth century presents us with a 
fresh series of travellers in the East, and 
visitors to Jerusalem. Since Chateaubriand, 
in 1806, performed a pilgrimage to the banks 
of the Jordan in the style of a knight-errant, 
hundreds of wanderers have followed in his 
steps, and have echoed the sentiments which 
he noted down in his journal: — "At the first 
sight of Jerusalem, every reminiscence of its 
history seemed to pass in review before me, 
from the time of Abraham to that of Godfrey • 
de Bouillon ; the site of the temple lay before 
me, but not one stone was left upon another." 
Truly imposing is the aspect which the city 
now presents! Its buildings, its ruins, and 
its memorials, connected with so many people, 
periods, and hallowed associations! The 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERU8ALEM. 107 

mosque of Omar now stands where once was 
raised the temple of Solomon. David's tomb 
remains, beside a convent of Minorites. The 
site of Herod's Palace and the traditional 
abode of Pontius Pilate are still pointed out, 
while we must not entirely overlook the resi- 
dence of the Protestant Bishop of Jerusalem, 
and the English Church, in which its own 
services are read in the Hebrew tongue. The 
Mahometans, Christians, and Jews have each 
their separate quarter ; here, as elsewhere, the 
most despised and miserable belongs to the 
Jews. Yes ! even in the city of their kings, 
the children of the kingdom are cast into outer 
darkness. But it will not be always thus. 
Hear, O Israel, the words of your Prophet, 
and lay to heart, O Christians, the declaration 
of your Lord ! " Jerusalem shall be trodden 
down of the Gentiles, until the times of the 
Gentiles be fulfilled.'* (Luke xxi. 24.) 

1 For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, 
Because of Jerusalem I will not rest, 

Until her righteousness come forth with brightness, 
And her salvation, as a light that burneth. 

2 And the nations shall see thy righteousness, 
And all kings thy glory. 

A new name is given to thee, 

The mouth of Jehovah hath proclaimed it. 



Digitized by 



Google 



108 JERUSALEM. 

3 And thou shalt be a crown of beauty in the baud 

of Jehovahj 
And a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. 

4 Thou shalt no more be spoken of as a forsaken one, 
And thy land shall no more be spoken of as a 

desolation ; 
But thou shalt be called My delight is in her, 
And thy land Married. 
For Jehovah delighteth in thee, and thy land 

shall be married. 

5 As a young man marrieth a virgin, 
Shall thy builder-up marry thee. 

And with the rejoicing of a bridegroom over his 

bride, 
Shall thy God rejoice over thee. 

6 I have set a watchman upon thy walls, O Jeru- 

salem ! 
All day and all night continuously they shall not 
hold their peace. 

remembrancers of Jehovah, let there be no rest 

to you, 

7 And give no rest to Him, 

Until he raise up, and make Jerusalem a praise 
in the land. 

8 Jehovah hath sworn by his right hand, 
And by the arm of his strength, 

1 will no more make thy com food for thine 

enemies. 
And the sons of the strangers shall no more drink 
thy new wine, for which thou hast laboured. 

9 But those that reaped it shall eat it, and praise 

Jehovah. 



Digitized by 



Google 



JERUSALEM. 109 

And those that have laid it up shall drink it in 
the courts of my sanctuary. 

10 Pass — ^pass through the gates ! 
Prepare the way for the people ! 
Raise up, raise up the highway ! 
Make it free from stones. 

Set a banner on high above the nations ! 

1 1 Behold ! Jehovah hath proclaimed it to the ends 

of the earth. 
Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation 

cometh ! 
Behold his reward is with him ! 
His work before him ! 

12 And they shall call thee the holy people ; 
The redeemed of Jehovah. 

And thou shalt be called she that is sought for ^ 
A city not forsaken. 

Isaiah Ixii. 



Digitized by 



Google 



BOOK 11. 



INTRODUCTION. 



The fall of Jerusalem and the dispersion of 
her people was now complete, manifesting an 
awful accomplishment of the words of the 
apostle, "Behold the severity of God upon 
them which fell." (Rom. xi. 22.) The fuU 
weight of judgment brought upon the chosen 
people was felt even in the light in which the 
death-struggles of Judea with Rome were 
viewed by succeeding generations. The des- 
perate resistance of Carthage and Numantia, 
and their ineffectual attempts against the same 
Rome, the oppressor of the world, have ever 
met with sympathy and applause. Not so 
Jerusalem, and the Jewish nation! A few 
partial commendations have been bestowed by 
men conversant with the art of war, upon the 
defence of Jerifealem and many of the Jewish 
fortresses,* which were carried on with admir. 

♦ "The siege of Massada by the Romans (says 
the Chevalier Folard, in the Appendix to Calmet's 



Digitized by 



Google 



INTEODUCTION. Ill 

able skill and bravery. History is compelled, 
-mth apparent unwillingness, to bear testimony 
to the bold resistance made by the Jews to the 
dominion of Rome ; * and this forced homage 
is soon lost sight of, amid the hatred felt by 
all for the unhappy remnant of the conquered 
people. Who among Christians even, before 
our days, has not preferred to take from his 
Josephus a fresh stone to cast at the deeply 
humbled nation, rather than to extract 
anything from its pages which might prove 

Dictionary, Commentary on Polybius, Attaque et Defense 
des Flcu:eSy iii. 63), is one of the most remarkable 
ever recorded in history. The strength and advan- 
tageous situation of the place, the courage and vigorous 
resistance of the besieged, the valour and skill of the 
Roman General, all combined in causing an erection of 
works, and a display of skill, of which we meet with few 
examples in ancient history. Even in modem times, the 
most memorable sieges since the fourteenth century have 
afforded nothing to equal it. . . . The defence of Jerusalem 
and that of Jotapata are still more worthy of admiration ; 
indeed, in point of military works nothing was ever pro- 
duced to surpass them. It was a masterpiece of Roman 
patience and intelligence, while the skill and courage of 
the Jews were not less to be admired. They fought 
as men in despair ; but they put in practice every 
resource of genius and art, to sell their lives with glory 
and at the dearest price." 

♦ Tacit. Hist. v. 10. " Augebat iras quod soli Judaei 
non cessissent." 



Digitized by 



Google 



112 INTRODUCTION. 

the Jewish nation to be in any degree worthy 
of admiration^ It is as if a stigma, like 
the line of bastardy in heraldry, was drawn 
through everything belonging to Israel that 
could excite either interest or sympathy. In 
this was manifest the severity of God towards 
a nation fallen on account of their sins ; and 
this sin against God remained, although, look- 
ing upon them as man with man, we must 
acknowledge their heroism, and even the 
justice of their cause. Thus does the injustice 
of man often put in execution the just decrees 
of God. 

And yet, without metropolis, without temple, 
without country, the Jewish people continued 
a nation, after all the events we have related. 
This wonderful dispensation was in itself a part 
of God*s dealings with them, though destined 
in time to come to produce a quite different 
result. We will now observe the means em- 
ployed by the providence of God to effect the 
national preservation of Israel, up to the 
present time. 

Even under the tyrannical reign of Adrian 
the Jews steadily observed the rite of circum- 
cision. As disciples of Moses, and children of 
the prophets and sacred writers, they at all 
times and in all places carried with them their 



Digitized by 



Google 



TIBERIAS. 113 

Scriptures in the original language, handing 
them down from generation to generation. They 
tried to make amends to themselves for the 
loss of their city and temple in various ways ; 
and manifested afresh their remarkable perse- 
verance of character and ingenuity of mind by 
the measures they took to form a completely 
new centre of nationality. 

Directly after the triumph of Titus, the 
great council of the Israelitish Rabbins was 
established at Tiberias, in Galilee. The school 
of Scribes, instituted in that city, soon took the 
place of that Temple whose restoration has 
never ceased to be the object of their hopes 
and prayers. The celebrated revolt of Bar 
Cochebas and Akiba sprung, in great measure, 
from thence. Tiberias had become a kind of 
Jerusalem, where, instead of a building of wood 
and stone, workmen were employed in construct- 
ing another edifice, which has now endured for 
many centuries. This was the Mishna, and 
eventually the Talmud ; the so-called Oral Law 
reduced to writing, arranged, commented upon, 
and explained; which became in the course 
of a few centuries a complete Digest, or Ency- 
clopaedia, of the law, the religion and the 
nationality of the Jews. We behold in the 
Mishna and Gemara a painful yet wonderful 



Digitized by 



Google 



114 MISHNA AND TALMUD. 

phenomenon. The very " traditions of the 
elders," against which our Saviour when on 
earth constantly raised his voice — the tradi- 
tions which for some hundred years had nulli- 
fied the Word of God, disguised the Law 
and the Prophets, and cast a veil over 
the predictions which were fulfilled in Jesus 
Christ — these same traditions were built up 
into an impenetrable wall, behind which 
the Israelite should continue with systematic 
obstinacy to shut himself out from belief in 
his King and Saviour. 

The Oral Law contained all the precepts 
which (according to the legends of the Rab- 
bins) Moses received from the Lord, during 
the forty days he remained on the Mount, 
which were transmitted by Moses to Joshua, 
and thus handed down from generation to 
generation. This Oral Law (against the very 
nature of its aim and destination, as the Jews 
themselves acknowledge) was committed to 
writing after the fall of Jerusalem. The 
first idea of such an undertaking is thought 
by many to have originated with the Rabbi 
Akiba, but universal tradition attributes both 
the plan and its accomplishment to Rabbi 
Judah the Holy (Hakkadosh), often called, for 
distinction's sake, the JRabbi. Born in the 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE TALMUD. 115 

days of Adrian, a period so unpropitious to his 
countrymen, he held in Palestine the dignity of 
Nasi (or prince), that is to say, spiritual head 
of the synagogues in that country. About the 
year a.d. 190, he completed a collection of all 
the oral or traditional commandments, called 
the Mishna, or Second Law^ and arranged them 
in the form of six treatises. The later Rabbins 
have exhausted their ingenuity in making 
commentaries upon, and additions to, this work. 
The whole collection of these commentaries 
is named Gemara (completeness). With the 
Mishna, its text book, it forms the Talmuds ; 
of these the Jerusalem Talmud is the prior in 
date, having been completed towards the end 
of the third century in Palestine; while the 
Babylonian Talmud, compiled in the schools of 
Babylon and Persia, takes its date from the 
year 500. 

In the new form which it had now assumed, 
tradition became more than ever the veil that 
hides from Israel the simple meaning of the 
Old Testament. From its very beginning it 
had been raised to an equality with, and even 
above, the written Word of God. Expressions 
are not wanting to denote, in the metaphorical 
language of the Babbins, this fancied su- 
periority. " Holy Scripture," says a Babbinical 



Digitized by 



Google 



116 THE TALMUD. 

adage, " may be compared to fresh water, but 
the Mishna is wine, and the Gemara refined 
wine." Thus the religion of the modern Jews 
became, in its very essence, pharisaical. The 
Sadducees, at least as a separate and numerous 
sect, disappeared soon after the ruin of Jeru- 
salem. The few who remained, and the Ka- 
raites, a later sect, who recognise the authority 
of Scripture alone, independent of all tradi- 
tional interpretation, have never succeeded in 
displacing the system of Phariseeism, which 
has been acknowledged by both Jew and 
Christian to be the only modem Judaism 
really in existence. The Talmud became, in 
the opinion of the dispersed Jews, as inseparable 
a part of their religion as the Church of Rome 
and the Pope are, in the eyes of Roman 
Catholics, of the Christian faith. Romanism 
and Rabbinism are, in this and many other 
points, very nearly connected. 

Still Christians will not find these Talmuds 
entirely useless and unworthy of notice. As 
presenting a faithful transcript of the Jewish 
mind in the first centuries of Christianity, and 
as documents containing innumerable details 
which throw light upon the manners, customs, 
antiquities, and social relations of the Jews, 
the Talmud is a most curious monument* 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE TALMUD. 117 

raised with astonishing labour, yet made up of 
puerilities. like the present position of the 
Jew, away from his country, far from his 
Messiah, and in disobedience to his God, the 
Talmud itself is a chaos, in which the most 
opposite elements are found in juxtaposition. 
It is a book which seems in some parts entirely 
devoid of common sense, and in others filled 
with deep meaning, abounding with absurd 
subtleties and legdljinessej full of foolish tales, 
and wild imaginations; but also containing 
aphorisms and parables, which, except in their 
lack of the simple and sublime character of 
Holy. Writ, resemble in a degree the parables 
and sentences of the New Testament. 

The Talmud is an immense heap of rubbish, 
at the bottom of which a few bright pearls of 
Eastern wisdom are to be found. No book 
has ever expressed more faithfully the spirit of 
its authors. This we notice the more, when 
comparing the Talmud with the Bible; — the 
Bible, that Book of books, given to, and by 
means of the Israel of God ; — the Talmud, the 
book composed by Israel without their God, in 
the time of their dispersion, their misery, and 
their degeneracy. The Talmud is not the 
only national work of which the Jews, during 
their present captivity, can boast; from the 



Digitized by 



Google 



118 MASOBAH AKD CABBALA. 

very first we find ranked witli it two other 
works of tradition — the "Masorah," and 
"Cabbala." 

The Masorah is well known, on account of 
the great service it has rendered in the pre- 
servation and critical knowledge of the Old 
Testament, by its vowels, accents, and notes. 
This is not the less valuable, even though its 
authors have also bestowed much useless 
labour upon numbering each verse, each word, 
and even each letter of the Bible ; and have 
derived many wild and absurd meanings from 
the insertion of a larger or smaller letter in 
the text, or a greater or less space between 
the chapters. 

The science of the Cabbala is a species of 
Oriental " Theosophy^'' by which all kinds of 
mystical fancies and even magical powers 
were deduced from the words, letters, and 
numbers of Scripture: it is composed of a 
mass of futilities, through which, however, 
shine some rays of bright Scriptural and even 
Evangelical light. 

The sons of Israel then, entered upon the 
many centuries of their dispersion, armed with 
this triple panoply of tradition, and by its 
means preserved their nationality through the 
time of their deepest humiliation and misery. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CAPTITITY IN THE EAST AND WEST. 119 

The dispersed Jews, even before the fall of 
Jerusalem, had classed themselves under three 
different designations. The Eabbins under- 
stand by the "Captivity of the East," the 
remains of the ten tribes; by that " of Egypt," 
the Jews under the dominion of the Ptolemies, 
particularly those of Alexandria; by that "of 
the West," the Jews dispersed over every part 
of the Roman Empire. 

In the sketch we shall give, we need only 
a twofold division. With the history of the 
dispersion and fate of Israel in the East, and 
in the West, in Asia, and in Europe, are con- 
nected the annals of the wandering and suffer- 
ing Jews in all parts of the world. Both in 
the East and West, but especially in Europe, 
their history records little else than a con- 
tinuation of misery, humiliation, and degene- 
racy. Yet we must not imagine that the 
Jews fell at once into this condition. History 
shows us that the judgment of God upon 
great cities, condemned on account of their 
sins, advances upon them slowly and by 
degrees, till the time of its complete accom- 
plishment. It has been the same with the 
prophecies against rebellious and unbelieving 
Israel. Because pf their sins^ (as they them- 
selves confess at great length in their daily 



Digitized by 



Google 



120 THE JEWS IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE. 

prayers, only omitting the greatest of all sins — 
their rejection of the Saviour) judgment has 
come upon them gradually, waxing stronger 
and stronger, and fulfilling more and more ex- 
actly to the letter the prophecies of the Lord. 
In the Roman Empire, after the reign of 
Vespasian and Adrian, the position of the Jews 
was not only tolerable, but in many respects 
prosperous. Until the time of Constantine's 
reign and conversion, we find them in general 
honoured and distinguished, rather than de- 
spised or oppressed. They are often noticed 
as having obtained considerable influence over 
the people, and at the court ; which they made 
use of to the disadvantage of Christianity, 
equally an object of hatred to the Jew and the 
Roman. The Emperor Caracalla's favourite 
was a Jew — Alexander Severus ; the Emperor, 
who erected a temple in honour of all deities 
and heroes, including both Abraham and 
Jesus Christ, added to his titles that of " Ruler 
of the Synagogue." The Emperor Decius, 
when enacting a bloody edict against the 
Christians, commanded the Roman proconsuls 
and pontifices to spare the Jewish synagogues. 
It is said that the persecution of the Christians 
under the Emperor Yalentinian originated in 
the influence exercised by an Egyptian Ruler 



Digitized by 



Google 



THB JEWS IN THE BOMAN EMFIBK 121 

of the Synagogue. Be this as it may, after 
the days of Titus, Trajan, and Adrian, the 
feelings of the Gentiles, especially of their phi- 
losophers, were entirely changed with regard 
to the Jews. Moses and the Law were appre- 
ciated and honoured, amid a system of 
Paganism, which could not maintain its 
ground without a struggle in the minds of 
such men as Plotinus, Porphyry, and Jamhli- 
cus. On their side, also, many of the Jews 
had long ceased to ohject to the alliance, and 
even the intermixture of their sacred writings, 
with the philosophy of Pythagoras and Plato, 
the poetry of Homer, and the traditions of 
Herodotus. 

We shall not, then, be surprised to find the 
Kabbins speaking of this period with some 
satisfiiction, and appljring to it the passage of 
Daniel, '^ Now when they shall &11, they shall 
be holpen with a little help." • Nor is it to 
be wondered at, that the Jews should look on 
with a kind of triumph, and in their hatred to 
Christianity behold with joy the disciples of 
Jesus compelled to assemble in the catacombs, 
while their synagogues existed and flourished 
in every part of the territory of Edom, and 
iheir schools at Jamnia and Tiberias increased 
* DaD. zL 34. 
G 



Digitized by 



Google 



122 THE JEW8 IN THE SOMAN EMPIRE 

in authority and power, under the acknow- 
ledged rule of a patriarch of the nation. 

A complete reverse took place, when the 
Emperor of Rome knelt before the Cross, and 
the Empire became a Christian state. From 
this epoch we may date the first period of 
humiliation, during which the Jews were 
visibly sinking into a state of continually pro- 
gressive oppression and misery. The second 
marked period in their state of moral and 
political degradation extends from the com- 
mencement of the middle ages to the death 
of Charlemagne, and the incursions of the 
Normans in Europe. This period, which 
closes with the discovery of America, the 
reign of Charles Y., and the Reformation, 
was for the Jews over the whole world, with 
the single exception of those in Spain and 
Portugal, a time of the deepest misery, oppres- 
sion, and decay. Thus the period of cruel 
oppression of the Jews in the West began with 
the triumph of Christianity over Paganism, 
just as in the East, three centuries later, it 
may be dated from the rise and triumph of 
the Mahometan power. The combination of 
events is striking. From the midst of that 
very Jerusalem, which the iron arm of Rome 
had crushed, arose the Gospel, whose spiritual 



Digitized by 



Google 



TTNDEB C0N8TANTIME. 123 

weapons should in a few years gain the victory 
over Rome. 

A poet of that period complains of the great 
inflaence possessed by the conqaered Jews 
over their !Roman conquerors.* In a higher 
sense than he imagined, this was indeed the 
case, for the Gospel^ which sprung from the 
JewSy had gained possession of the heights and 
strongholds of Rome. From that moment, 
however, an entire change took place in the 
relation subsisting between the Roman Empire 
and people; i.e., the Christians and the Jews, 
enemies of the Oospel. 

At the fall of Jerusalem, and the disappear- 
ance of Israel as inhabitants of the land of 
their fitthers, the last Mnk was broken which 
bound the Christian Church to the people 
jErom whom it sprung. The Jewish Christians 
became an insignificant sect, or were merged 
in the Church of the Oentiles, whose " times 
had begun.'* From that epoch we find Judaism 
directly and decidedly opposed to Christianity 
and its professors; and a great share was 
taken by Jews in the persecutions of the 
Christians by Pagan Rome. We may give as 
an instance the martyrdom of the venerable 
Polycarp, in the time of the Emperor Marcus 
* 'VicioTesqae suos natio victa premit— >iRt<<iKtt#. 
G 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



124 THE JEWS IN THE BOMAK EMPIRE 

Amelias. Their position, as we have already 
said, changed entirely after the conyersion of 
Constantine. The Jews then became a con- 
demned and persecuted sect. The equality of 
rights to which they had been admitted under 
the pagan emperors was by degrees restricted, 
their admission to civil and military dignities 
first limited to the more onerous posts, and at 
length entirely forbidden. A gleam of hope 
shone upon them in the days of Julian the 
Apostate, but they were only the more ill- 
treated under his Christian successors. Till 
the reign of Theodosius, in the fourth century, 
however, their position in the Empire was 
such as could well be borne. In the C!ode of 
Theodosius II. their patriarchs and rulers of 
the synagogue are made honourable mention 
of, and entitied ** Viri spectaHssimt illustres^ 
clarisstmi.'' Entire liberty and protection was 
granted them in the observance of their cere- 
monies, their feasts, and their Sabbaths. Their 
synagogues were protected by law against the 
fanatics, who, in some parts of Asia and Italy, 
attacked and set them on fire. Throughout 
the Empire, the property of the Jews, their 
slaves, and their lands, were secured to them ; 
only the Christians were exhorted to hold no 
intercourse with the unbelieving people, and 



Digitized by 



Google 



AFTER CONST ANTINE. 125 

to beware of the doctrines of the synagogue. 
The laws, however, could not prevent the zeal 
of several bishops from sturring up and encou- 
raging the hatred of the populace against the 
Jews. Even Ambrose imputed as a crime to 
the Emperor Theodosius that he had sentenced 
some Asiatic bishops and monks to rebuild, at 
their own expense, a synagogue which they 
had demolished I 

The fifth century proved yet more disastrous 
to the Jews. The Roman Empire had, from 
the year 395, been divided into the Eastern, or 
Greek Empire, of which Constantinople was 
the capital ; and the Western Empire, of which 
Some and Italy still formed the centre. In 
both these divisions the position and treatment 
of the Jews became worse and worse. The 
guides of the Christian Church, and still more 
the common people, retained but a faint im- 
pression of the Gospel-promise to Israel, of 
their national conversion in the latter days ; at 
least, they had entirely forgotten the expres^ 
sion joined to that promise, ^^ beloved for the 
fathers' sake:' ♦ The Fathers of the Church, 
such as Augustine, Chrysostom, and Jerome, 
in their application of the Old Testament to 
the case of the Jews, confined themselves to 
* Bom. xi. 28. 



Digitized by 



Google 



126 THE BOMAN EMPIBE AFTEB CONSTANTINE. 

its threatenings, even though the Romish 
Church down to the present day offers special 
prayer for their conversion. 

In the time, however, of the Fathers whom 
we have mentioned, great attention was still 
paid to the ancient language of Israel, and 
more than one learned ecclesiastic had recourse 
to a Jewish Eabhi as his instructor. 

In the West, even under Honorius, its first 
Emperor, oppressive laws began to be put in 
force against the Jews. During this century, 
Church history boasts of the conversion of a 
great number of Jews in the islands of Minorca 
and Candia. In the year 471, the downfall of 
the old Roman Empire in the West soon 
brought the Jews into contact with the people 
of the North, who had already begun to over- 
run Southern Europe, to renew its population, 
and to form new states, destined to continue 
for many successive centuries. 

In the East^ that is to say, in the eastern 
part of the Roman Empire, soon after called 
the Empire of Oreece, or Byzantium, the 
position of the Jews became particuleirly un- 
favourable. The honours paid by Arcadius 
(in the fifth century) to the holy men of the 
Old Testament, conferred little benefit on their 
natural descendants. The Emperor trans- 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN THE GBEEK EMPIRE. 127 

ported what were considered to be the remains 
of the Prophet Samael from Judea to Thrace. 
A multitude, both of Jews and Christians, 
joined the festive procession, and when the 
golden urn containing the ashes was carried 
through the Jewish quarter at Constantinople, 
there also the houses were adorned with flowers 
and garlands. Judaism, however, continued 
at this very time to be detested, especially 
because of the influence which the synagogue 
was reputed to have had upon Nestorius and 
his heresy. 

The Government of the Emperor Justin, 
and Code of Justinian, soon permanently fixed 
the social relations of the Jews in the Byzan- 
tine Empire. Justin (a.d. 623) excluded all 
Jews, Samaritans, and Pagans, from holding 
any office or dignity in the State. In the 
reign of Justinian, the enactments against the 
Jews were confirmed, and made more onerous. 
The Emperor, laying it down as a principle 
that civil rights coidd only belong to those 
who professed the orthodox faith, entirely 
excluded the Jews in his Code (codex) and his 
edicts (novellee). Anything which could in 
the least interfere with the festivals of the 
Christian Church was strictly forbidden them, 
all discussion with Christians looked upon as 



Digitized by 



Google 



128 THE JEWS IN THE GREEK EBIFIRE. 

a crime, and proselytism punished with death. 
Even their right of holding property was re- 
stricted in many ways, especially in the matter 
of wills. The Emperor declared himself with 
especial severity ^against the traditions and 
precepts of the Talmud. 

No wonder, then, that during the reign of 
Justinian many rebellions broke out among 
his Jewish subjects, — the dying throes, as it 
were, of their national existence. Already, in 
530, a false Messiah, named Julianus, arose, 
who was beheaded a year or two after, and 
his followers dispersed. Some years later, in 
566, a terrible insurrection of the Jews and 
Samaritans broke out at Cesarea; but such 
severe penalties were inflicted as to render a 
repetition of it almost impossible. Once more 
only, during the reign of Justinian, a fearful 
commotion was caused at Constantinople by 
the sight of the sacred vessels, spoils irom the 
Temple at Jerusalem, which, having been 
carried to Rome by Titus, were removed into 
Africa when Rome was stormed by Genseric, 
and finally brought by Belisarius (a.d. 636), 
to the capital of the Oreek Empire. So violent 
was the outbreak of feeling on this occasion, 
that the Emperor was obliged to send the 
holy vessels from Constantinople to Jerusalem ; 



Digitized by 



Google 



THB JEWS IN THE GREEK EMFIBE* 129 

since which time all trace of these relics has 
been lost 

From the reign of Justinian, the position of 
the Jews in the Greek Empire became such as 
to prevent their possessing any degree of po» 
litical importance. Yet their theological and 
masoretic studies were still carried on with 
diligence in the country of their fathers, 
(which, together with Syria, was included in 
this portion of the empire,) and in the city of 
Tiberias, from which the Mishna had for« 
merly been propagated. But even there the 
last surviving gleam of their ancient glory 
was soon extinguished. From the year 429, 
the dignity of patriarch ceased to exist, and 
thus the link was broken which connected the 
different synagogues of the Eastern Empire- 
Many Jews, devoted to the study of the Tal* 
mud, quitted Palestine and the Byzantine 
Empire to seek refuge in Persia and Baby- 
lonia, where more £Eivour was shown to the 
Israelite. When, many centuries after, 
(a.d. 1455,) Constantinople fell into the 
hands of the Turks, some of the Jewish exiles 
from Spain and Portugal took refuge in the 
ancient capital of the Eastern Empire, where 
the number of their descendants is now 
considerable. 

Q 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



130 THE JEWS IN 

In the far East, beyond the bonndariea of 
the Grecian Empire, the Jews continued in 
a, comparatively speaking, prosperous condi- 
tion, until the triumph of the Koran was 
complete. One consequence of the emigra* 
tion of learned Kabbins and youthful students 
from the Holy Land to the schools of Babylon 
and Persia, which took place in the fifth cen- 
tury, was, that revision and extension of the 
Gemara which bears the name of the Baby- 
lonian Talmud (a.d. 500). 

The proper title of the Patriarch of Baby- 
lon was B^sh-Glutha, prince, or chief of the 
captivity. We find indications of the exist- 
ence of such a title as early as the second 
century. The office of Resh-Glutha was at 
first rather that of a civil governor than an 
ecclesiastical superior ; for his situation placed 
him in a position to mediate between the 
heads of the synagogue and the Persian or 
Parthian kings. The dignity itself took its 
rise while the Parthians reigned in Persia; 
but it continued under the new dynasty of the 
Sassanides, and only came to an end many 
years later, under the dominion of the caliphs. 
The position implied something of worldly 
state, resembling that of a Viceroy, who had 
under him the Babbins of the different syna- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PEB8IA AND BABYLONIA. 181 

gogues, like dependent satraps. When the 
Babylonian Talmud was completed, those who 
held this dignity were no longer connected 
with any religious office, and were often pos- 
sessed with a more or less hostile feeling 
towards theologians. The office was pur- 
chased for a certain sum of money from the 
kings of Persia, and subsequently from the 
Mahometan caliphs, though tradition relates, 
that it long remained in a family sprung from 
the house of David. The dignity of Besh- 
Glutha ceased entirely towards the middle of 
the eleventh century, in the person of Hizkiah, 
slain by the redoubted caliph, Beamrillah. 
A shadow of the office seems to have remained 
in the East in the twelfth century; and in 
Spain, among many other hereditary remi- 
niscences of the Babylonian Jews, we find in 
the middle ages the " Prince of the Captivity" 
bearing the title of " Babbino-Mayor." 

The great mass of the Jewish population in 
Persia and Babylon had, no doubt, remained 
there from the time of their removal by 
Nebuchadnezzar. We have noticed, in a 
former part of the book, how large a portion 
of the Jews neglected to avail themselves of 
the permission granted by Cyrus to return to 
Jerusalem, and to rebuild the Temple. We 



Digitized by 



Google 



133 THE JEWS IN FEB8IA AND BABYLONIA. 

see also by the Book of Esther, that in the 
reign of Ahasaerus they were both numerous 
and powerful. Several firesh colonies joined 
them even before the destruction of Jerusalem 
by Titus, and many more after that epoch. 

We have also noticed before, that a common 
hatred of the dominion of Rome naturally led 
to a warm fellow-feeling between the Jews and 
the kingdom of Parthia, which, in the year 
A.D. 230, made way for a new or second 
Persian kingdom, when Artaxerxes, a Persian 
descendant of Sassan, (from whom the dynasty 
of the Sassanides took its name,) made him- 
self master of the throne of the Parthian 
Arsacidae. This Artaxerxes (Ardscher Babe- 
gan), famed in Boman history on account of 
the war carried on in Asia between him and 
Alexander Severus, was the father of Sapor 
(Schabur), a still more deadly enemy of the 
Boman name. Both these princes are men- 
tioned as having been friends and favourers of 
the Jews in their dominions. Three centuries 
later, Chosroes I., sumamed the Great, in the 
fiflh year of the reign of Justinian (a.d. 531), 
encouraged by joint promises of assistance 
from the Jews and Samaritans, declared war 
against the Byzantine Empire. Their hopes 
were, however, for the present, crushed, by a 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IK PK18IA. 138 

brilliant victory gained by the Romans. 
Choo^oes IL, grandson of the former, made 
war against Heraclins with better success. 
The result of this campaign, in which his 
army was reinforced by a body of 25,000 Jews^ 
was the capture of Jerusalem (a.d. 625); 
which was, however, retaken by Heraclius four 
years later. From that time we find no more 
mention of the Jews in connexion with the 
military exploits of the Parthians. When 
this kingdom also fell, in process of time, into 
the hands of the caliphs, the Jews met by 
turns with good and ill treatment from their 
new rulers. The Abassides generally looked 
with fstvour upon the learned men of the 
Jewish nation. The physician of the Caliph 
Almawjor, for instance, was a Jew. Less 
fortunate under his successors, the Jews were 
again protected and raised in position by 
Haroun-al-Baschid, the noble contemporary of 
Charlemagne, in the eighth century. Afrer 
his time, they had much to suffer from the 
vexatious imposition of taxes and fines. The 
downfall of the caliphs brought no favourable 
change to the Jews; their troubles, on the 
contrary, were so greatly increased, that the 
celebrated schools at Pumbeditha and Sora at 
length entirely disappeared, and the succession 



Digitized by 



Google 



134 THE JEWS m ABABIA. 

of their learned men was continued henceforth 
in Spain. Thus the rise of the Mahometan 
power in Asia gave the signal that the time 
for their greatest oppression and degradation 
in the East also was arrived. 

The Peninsula of Arabia, of which the 
northern part (Arabia Fetrea) is associated in 
the Bible with the wanderings of the Israelites, 
has gained since the seventh century universal 
celebrity. From the midst of that country, 
the descendants of Ishmael rushed in every 
direction over the then known and civilized 
world, to pursue their fanatical conquests. 
In the regions of Arabia, Israelites also had 
dwelt from time immemorial, and they con- 
tinued numerous and powerful until the rise 
of Mahomet, and the propagation of his doc« 
trines. Before Mahomet's time, the Arabs 
had always remained a people apart, whom 
even Alexander and the !Romans had passed 
by, or attacked in skirmishes only. They 
were divided into two great branches; the 
Bedouins of the desert, who assert their 
special claim to be the descendants of Ishmael, 
the son of Abraham and Hagar, and the 
inhabitants of the cities, who had for ages 
been engaged in commerce, conveying their 
merchandise in caravans from India and 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN ARABIA. 135 

Persia to the westernmost extremity of Asia. 
When Mahomet first appeared, the population 
of the Peninsula consisted of Jews, Christians, 
worshippers of the sun after the manner of 
the Persians, and a sect professing Ish« 
maelitism, a corrupt and degenerate ofiset of 
the religion of Abraham. 

The Jewish inhabitants of Arabia date their 
establishment in the country, according to 
some, from the visit of the Queen of Sheba to 
Solomon. In the history of the Peninsula, 
before the time of Mahomet, we find them 
spoken of as numerous, free, and powerful, 
holding castles and fortresses, and forming, 
consequently, a marked feature in the Arabian 
population. History even mentions, with cer«r 
tainty as to the fact, though with great ob- 
scurity as to the details, the existence in 
Arabia of a Jewish kingdom under Jewish 
kings. About 150 years before the Christian 
era, we find mention made of Abu Caab Asaad, 
a Jew either by birth or religion, as a contem- 
porary of John Hyrcanus at Jerusalem. He 
is reckoned as the thirty-third king of the 
Joktanides, called in Yemen, Sabeers, or 
Homentes. 

It is a fact, incontestably proved, that in 
much later times Jewish kings have reigned 



Digitized by 



Google 



136 THE JEWS AND KAHOMET. 

in Arabia. The last king of Yemen, Du- 
naan, or Dhu-Nowas, in the sixth century, 
was a Jew. 

When Mahomet made his appearance, at 
first only as a poet and reformer, he found the 
Arabian Jews in general fitvourably disposed 
towards him. Some of these tribes, Jews both 
by religion and birth, as, for example, the 
KasErady, Al Aws, Koreidha, and Al Nadir, 
who all trace their origin to Harun Ibn Amram 
(Aaron, the son of Amram), ranged them- 
selves on his side, and he bestowed upon them 
the name of ** Auxiliaries.'* He even modided 
some of his precepts out of consideration for 
the Jews of Medina. They soon ceased, 
however, to look upon him as a prophet sent 
from God, because he did not preserve all the 
institutions of Moses, and was not descended 
from the house of David. If this be true, it 
would seem to prove that the Jews in that 
country had thought for a moment that Ma^ 
homet might possibly be the Messiah. From 
that time (624), war broke out between Ma- 
homet and his adherents and the Jewish tribes 
of Arabia. The dan of the Beni>Keinouka 
was besieged in a fortress near Medina, and 
overcome by the warrior-prophet. The same 
&te awaited the other tribes, one after the 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND MAHOMETANS. 137 

other; the conqueror slew the men by hun- 
dreds, and took the women and children for a 
spoil. His last campaign against the Jews 
ended more happily for the cause than for the 
person of the Prophet. Among the strong- 
holds of the Jews of Cheibar, which fell after 
a stout resistance, the Castle Kamress was 
bravely defended by an Israelitish Chief, 
named Marhaba, of colossal stature and 
distinguished valour, who fell in single com- 
bat with a Mussulman of rank. When, at 
the taking of this castle, his niece Zeinah 
became the prisoner of Mahomet, she avenged 
the death of her relation and her people by 
administering to him a slow poison, which so 
undermined his constitution that he died of its 
effects a few years after, a.d. 632. 

From the moment that the Jews declared 
themselves against Mahomet, they became the 
especial objects of his hatred. In his wrath 
he bestowed on them the appellations of 
" unbelievers," " murderers of the prophets," 
"cursed of God,*' "falsifiers of revelation," 
and as such he treated them. Though from 
that time no actual persecution was carried 
on, a feeling of enmity has ever existed be- 
tween the Mussulman and the Jew. In cer- 
tain exceptional cases, indeed, Mahometan 



Digitized by 



Google 



138 THE JBWS AND MAHOMETANS. 

princes have at times granted them protection, 
and even &yonr, — nay, we find in the thir- 
teenth century a Jewish Grand Vizier at Bag- 
dad, named Saddeddulat But popular hatred 
and -contempt has ever been the portion of 
Israel under the crescent as well as the cross : 
as in Christian Europe, so in Mahometan Asia 
and Africa, the Jew was compelled to bear a 
distinctive mark in his garments — here the 
yellow hat, there the black turban. 

And yet Mahometanism itself was derived 
from the Old Testament, and was still more 
closely connected with modem Judaism ! To 
be descended from Abraham was reckoned a 
high honour, alike by the Arabians, by Ma- 
homet himself, and by the Saracen Mussul- 
mans ; and this they possessed in common with 
the sons of Israel. The Jewish prophets (in- 
cluding therein especially Jesus, or Issah) 
were reckoned by the followers of Mahomet as 
holy men ; Jerusalem was entitled El Kods, a 
holy city, — Sinai, a holy mountain ; and they 
look upon the valley of Jehoshaphat as the 
spot where Jesus, the Judge of the nations, 
with Mahomet at his side, will judge the 
world, seated upon a stone, which the Ma- 
hometan points out to the traveller. But a 
still closer connexion with the Talmud and 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND MAHOMETANS. 139 

the Jewish traditions has been of late found to 
exist in the Koran. It has long been matter 
of difficulty to reconcile the undoubted marks 
of a biblical influence in the composition of 
the Koran, with its author's palpable igno- 
rance of the real contents of the Bible. The 
kind of half-knowledge it manifests, both of 
men and facts in tide Old Testament, and of 
our Saviour's life in the New, has been attri- 
buted to a supposed intimacy of Mahomet with 
the historians. New light, however, has 
been thrown upon the subject, since attention 
has been drawn to a person who is entitled to 
a distinguished place in the biography of the 
founder of Islamism. Warakha Ibn Naufal 
was nearly related to Kadisha, the first wife 
of Mahomet. An Ishmaelite by birth, but 
disgusted with the idolatry of his nation and 
contemporaries, he sought for a purer faith, — 
first in the bosom of Pharisaical Judaism, and 
later ^ in the deeply degenerate Christianity of 
the East. 

At last he attached himself to Mahomet, 
and soon obtained considerable influence over 
the Prophet of Mecca and his doctrines. It is 
more than probable, that by Warakha Ibn 
Naufal's acquaintance with the holy writings of 



Digitized by 



Google 



140 THE JEWS AND MAHOMETANS. 

both the Jews and Christians, and also with 
the Rabbinical traditions, many circumstances 
were brought to the knowledge of Mahomet 
which subsequently found their way, with 
more or less adulteration, into the Koran. 
At least the biblical legends of this singular 
book are also to be met with in the Talmud 
and other ancient writings of the Jews. The 
Koran may be looked upon, in some respects, 
as a kind of " military Mishna.'' 

We will once more take a glance at the 
Jews in Asia, after its conquest by Mahomet, 
and specially in Arabia, the birth-place of his 
new religion. There, too, since the time of 
Mahomet, their condition grew worse and 
worse. In other parts, they dwelt more scat- 
tered ; but in Southern Arabia, especially in 
Yemen, they were more closely drawn to- 
gether, and separated from the rest of the 
population. In the mountainous country of 
Cheibar, to the north-east of Medina, travellers 
have related, that there still exist three dif- 
ferent tribes of Jews, so detested by the Ma- 
hometans, that ^^ Beni Cheiba " is, with them, 
a term of reproach. Because these Jews 
(from dwelling in the desert), have little or no 
communication with their countrymen, they 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS ON THE KALABAB COAST. 141 

have been thought by some to be Karaites. 
At Aden, on the coast, the Jewish population 
is at the present time very numerous.* 

Beyond the boundaries of either the old 
Roman or the Byzantine Empire, Jews have, 
in early times, been met with, both in the 
most remote parts of the interior of Asia, and 
upon the coast of Malabar. The annals of 
these latter seem to trace back their arrival in 
the country to the time of the conquest of 
Jerusalem by Titus. Others explain these 
records as referring rather to the arrival of a 
Jewish colony in the fifth century, in conse- 
quence of a persecution raised in Persia. The 
title of these documents given to the leaders 
of the colony confirms the later date. He was 
called '^ Babbana," Joseph ; and this form of 
the title of ^* master" among the Jews takes 
its date from that very epoch. Although in 
their features and colour these Indian Jews 
exactly resemble the other inhabitants of the 
country, still, their customs, their prayers, and 
their observance of the rules of the Talmud, 
give evident tokens of their origin and religion. 
Towards the close of the seventeenth century, 

* The Jews of Aden were visited in 1843 by Dr. 
^Tdaon. (See "^ Lands of the BibV voL i., p. 16.) 
Their numbers then amounted to 1,070. 



Digitized by 



Google 



142 THE JEWS IK INDIA. 

the Jews of Cochin held some correspondence 
with the Portuguese Synagogue at Amster- 
dam, and information was ^ven of a series of 
Jewish kings who had successively reigned in 
the country ; by which, however, in all probap 
bility were only meant a sort of governors, 
possessing their own jurisdiction and laws. 
It appears beyond a doubt that the Jews there 
have enjoyed extraordinary prosperity, and 
have had cities and strongholds in their pos- 
session. Some English authorities in recent 
times have mentioned yet another race of Jews 
in India, in the neighbourhood of the Mah- 
rattas. They call themselves Beni-Israel, but 
acknowledge no relationship with the Jews of 
Malabar, Persia, or Arabia. The Israelitish 
features of their countenance (we are assured) 
distinguish them completely from the Ma- 
hometans and Hindoos. They invoke the 
name of Jehovah, practise circumcision on the 
eighth day, and observe the feasts and fasts, 
especially the great Day of Atonement. They 
do not possess the prophetical Scriptures, nor 
are they acquainted with the history of their 
own nation since the time of the Babylonish 
captivity, so that they neither observe the 
Feast of Purim, nor keep up any remembrance 
of the destruction of the Second Temple. They 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN CHINA. 143 

are accused of occasionally mingling Indian 
superstitions and idolatries with the worship 
of the God of their fathers, but at the same 
time they bear a high character for their 
industry, activity, and military talent. They 
rarely serve in the native infantry without 
attaining the rank of officers. 

At Bombay, too, there are more than 5,000 
Jews, chiefly occupied in agriculture and the 
manufacture of oil, while those who live in the 
city are employed as masons and carpenters. 
They use the Liturgy of the Sephardim, which 
they have received from their neighbours, but 
possess no manuscript of the law. Their 
entire rejection of the appellation of Yehudi, 
or Jew, together vnth. other circumstances 
noted by Dr. Wilson in his visit to Bombay, 
lead him to the conclusion, that the Beni-Israel 
of Bombay were originally descended from 
the captivity of the ten tribes. 

In the far-distant regions of China, the 
Jewish population has long existed. The first 
discovery of this colony was made by the 
Jesuits, in 1642, who met with Jews at Fekin, 
Nanking, and particularly at Kue-fung-foo, 
the capital of the province of Ho-nun. Later 
missionaries of the same Society, sent out in 



Digitized by 



Google 



144 THE JEWS IN CHINA. 

1720, better acquainted with the Hebrew 
tongue, confirmed the details which had before 
been given. Learned men in France, among 
whom we may mention the Orientalist, De 
Sacy, gave their attention to the subject, and 
made it matter of research and examination. 
Thus the following conclusions have been 
established. Between the time of Ezra and 
the destruction of the Second Temple, Jews 
from Persia emigrated to China, and estab- 
lished themselves in five of the principal cities 
of that vast empire. This is confirmed by the 
&ct, that the Chinese Jews are well acquainted 
with Ezra, whom they regard with almost as 
much veneration as Moses, while they appear to 
be quite ignorant of the pharisaical traditions 
of the Talmud. Their Persian origin (pro- 
bably by way of Chorazan and Samarcand) is 
attested by the mixture of Persian words in 
their language. The whole population of the 
Chinese Jews sprang from seven tribes, or £Eimi- 
lies, whose names (Sing-tschao-ti, Sing-kao-ti, 
Sing-gnai-ti, Sing-king-ti, Sing-tschi-ti, Sing- 
thschan-ti, Sing-U-ti,) seem to be derived from 
those of the different emperors under whom, 
at successive periods, these &milies established 
themselves in China. To the first of these 
emigrations we certainly cannot assign a later 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN CHINA. 146 

date than the early part of the second century 
before the birth of Christ. 

The Jews in China, in common with Maho- 
metans and Christians, bear the name of 
Hwwy-Hwwy, but are distinguished by the 
significant epithet of Taou-kinkeaou, the people 
that cut out the sinew. (Gen. xxxii. 32.) The 
synagogue at Kae-fdng-foo possessed a beauti- 
ful manuscript copy of the books of Moses; 
and by way of Haphtorah, a collection of pas- 
sages selected from the books of Joshua, 
Judges, Samuel, Kings, and the Prophets, the 
books of Esther and Nehemiah, and some 
other historical books. It possessed also a 
book of commentaries, and numerous copies of 
their ritual. The rite of Circumcision, the 
Sabbath, the Passover, the Feast of Taber- 
nacles, and the great Day of Atonement, are 
observed by them. They do not pronounce 
the name of Jehovah, but substitute that of 
the Lard. They have no knowledge whatever 
of the name or history of our Saviour. The 
inscriptions in their synagogue, and especially 
the ** Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is 
one God," are written both in Hebrew and 
Chinese. The Hebrew language, which is 
still knovra imperfectly by some, is also imper- 
fectly pronounced, because the Chinese Ian- 



Digitized by 



Google 



146 THE JEWS IN CHINA. 

guage does not possess all the sounds necessary 
for the correct pronunciation of Hebrew. 

Among these Jews some learned men were 
met with, great admirers of Confucius, and 
others who, by the universal toleration allowed, 
had risen to the rank of mandarins ; one espe- 
cially, named Chao, was much praised for 
having rebuilt at his own expense a syna^ 
gogue destroyed by fire. 

A great number of the Chinese Jews seem 
to have &llen away to Mahometanism. But 
the Jesuits having been driven out of China, 
in the year 1723, all sources of information on 
the subject were closed ; it is only since the 
year 1816, that by the researches of the mis- 
sionary, Dr. Morrison, we have again received 
some tidings of the people that cut out the 
sinew. The events of the last few years, as 
regards China, encourage us to look for many 
discoveries in this interesting field of research. 
At any rate, we are well assured of the fact, 
that the Israelites, during their banishment in 
the East, penetrated the wall of China. 

We will now turn our attention to the cap- 
tivity of Israel in the West. 

We have already mentioned the evil effects 
resulting to the Jews, from the conversion of 
the Roman Emperors to Christianity. In the' 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND THE GOTHS. 147 

Western Empire this unfavourable change 
began to show itself in the days of Honorius, 
and would probably have produced the same 
consequences which had occurred in the East, 
if the storm that burst over Eome towards the 
close of the fifth century, had not changed in 
a degree the position, both of the Jews and of 
their oppressors. The Northern nations, so 
long as they professed Arianism in preference 
to the Catholic faith, showed themselves mer* 
ciful to their Jewish subjects* This was espe- 
cially the case with the Goths. When, at the 
period we have mentioned, the dominion of 
the Ostrogoths, under their king, Theodoric, 
succeeded that of Odoacer and the Heruli in 
Italy and the West, the Jews had every reason 
to Jje satisfied with their new sovereign. 
Without concealing his desire for their con- 
version to Christianity, (at least to what he 
looked upon as such), he manifested more 
than once in his edicts and decrees, the un* 
willingness he felt to make use of any coercion 
or violence to efiect it* Whether from the 
private feelings of the king, or the influence 
of his minister, Cassiodorus, the justice ex- 
tended to the Jews in his days was well 
worthy of imitation. He wrote with kindness 
to those of Genoa, giving them permission to 
P2 



Digitized by 



Google 



148 THE JEWS AND THE GOTHS. 

rebuild their synagogue, when their liberty to 
do so was contested by the magistrates of the 
city. He granted them many rights and pri* 
vileges, as well as at Milan and at Rome, and 
severely rebuked his people for having burnt 
a Jewish synagogue. 

Thus the Goths in the West, like the 
Persians in the East, found faithful allies in 
the Jews of that period. When Justinian, by 
his general, Narses, conquered Italy from the 
Ostrogoths, (a.d. 555,) its Jewish population 
made a most determined resistance to the 
great enemy of their nation. At Naples, in 
particular, they distinguished themselves in 
their opposition to the Imperial troops; and 
when the town was captured, vengeance fell 
heavily on the Israelites who had taken so 
large a share in its defence. 

The Visigoths also, at the commencement 
of the same century, (a.d. 518,) received 
assistance from the Jews, in their defence of 
Aries, in Provence, against the Franks under 
Clovis. In Spain, the kings of the Visigoths 
treated them with favour, till about the year 
600, their king, Reccared, having abandoned 
Arianism to embrace the religion of Rome, 
made a beginning of that peculiar system of 
conduct towards the Jews, which, in after ages, 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND THE FRANKS. 149 

led to their total expulsion from the Peninsula. 
The conquest of the country by the Saracens, 
in 700, established for a time quite a different 
relation between the Jews and the other in- 
habitants of the land. 

The dominion of the Franks, was in early 
times, less merciful to the exiles of Palestine 
than that of the Goths. The Merovingian 
line at least treated them with peculiar rigour. 
As early as the year 540, King Childebert 
forbade the Jews to appear in the streets of 
Paris, during the whole of Easter week. A 
little later, Clotaire II. deprived them of the 
power of holding any dignity or office of state, 
whether civil or military. King Dagobert, at 
the instigation, it is said, of the Emperor 
Heraclius, (a.d. 629,) compelled the Jews to 
receive baptism, under a threat of banishment 
in a body, but the effect of this menace 
speedily passed away. We find them soon 
after in Languedoc, possessing a flourishing 
maritime trade (including, alas ! the disgraceful 
traffic in slaves), and in a condition to equip 
fleets. In the same century th^ir academy at 
Lunel was already in some repute. 

Under the dynasty of the Carlovingians in 
France, we find the Jews of the eighth and 
ninth century enjoying so great a degree pf 



Digitized by 



Google 



150 THE JEWS AND CHAELEMAGNE. 

prosperity that the Romish bishops took alarm, 
and thought it necessary to enter a protest. 

Pepin le Bref, son of Charles Martel, and 
father of Charlemagne, had already granted 
the Jews many privileges, especially the power 
of holding land. Their prosperity and influ- 
ence increased considerably in the kingdom of 
the Franks under Charlemagne. 

This great man, so remarkable in many 
ways, as one who gave a distinctive character 
to the age in which he lived, justly deserves 
the praise of posterity, as a sovereign and a 
legislator. He is not the less worthy of 
admiration for the eflfbrts he made, and the 
principles he maintained, on the subjects of 
Christianity, the Church, and education. It 
is true, that, like all the men of his time, he 
was a devoted adherent to the Church of 
Rome ; and on this account he contributed, in 
no small degree, to extend both the temporal 
and spiritual power of its bishop. And yet, 
with this faith in, and zeal for, Catholicism, 
there was in Charlemagne, what we might call 
a germ of Protestantism, which manifested 
itself in a desire for the general diffusion of 
learning, both in colleges and among the people, 
and in the successful efforts he made to further 
the diffusion, the translation, and the reading 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND CHARLEMAGNE. 151 

of the Scriptures. He also made a vigorous 
opposition, even in defiance of Borne, to the 
worship of images, established about the same 
period in the East, by a Council* which may 
justly be termed Antichristian. 

It was either his own Christian principles, 
joined to an enlightened system of politics, or 
perhaps a feeling of sympathy with the de- 
clared adversaries of every kind of imagcr 
worship, which led this monarch to show 
peculiar favour to the Jews. From whatever 
cause it may have arisen, there is but one 
voice on the subject; every historian bears 
witness to the wise benevolence of Charle* 
magne towards the Jewish people, and to the 
remarkable degree of liberty and prosperity 
which they enjoyed during his reign, and that 
of his son, Louis le D6bonnaire, 

The embassy, entrusted by Charlemagne to 
the Counts Sigismund and Lanfred, jointly with 
the Jew Isaac, (a.d, 797,) but mainly owing its 
success to the latter, at the Court of the Caliph 
Haroun al Baschid, is a fact generally known. 
Isaac spent four years at Bagdad in the fulfil* 
ment of this mission, and returned to Europe 
with magnificent presents for the Emperor, 
among which were an elephant and a costly 
• The Second Council of Nice, 737. 



Digitized by 



Google 



152 THE JEWS AND LOUIS LE DEBONNAIRE. 

timepiece. The same Jew afterwards made a 
similar expedition in the Emperor's behalf to 
the Court of Persia. It is possible that policy 
had some share in these arrangements, and 
that Charlemagne, in his projects against the 
Byzantine Empire, looked upon the wandering 
son of Israel, as the fittest agent between 
Western Christianity and Eastern Mahomet- 
anism. Even this gives proof of the enlight* 
ened views taken by the great Emperor, and his 
entire freedom from narrow-minded prejudice. 
Louis le D6bonnaire, the son and successor 
of Charlemagne, though possessing less talent 
and greatness of mind than his father, followed 
out his example in treating the Jews with 
benevolence. In his case, deep attachment to 
the Christian religion and to the Church, did 
not serve as a pretext for oppressing and 
trampling upon God's ancient people in their 
miserable unbelief. As far as the interests of 
Christianity and the Church, and the spirit of 
the age allowed him, he showed a marked 
goodwill towards the Jews, both by his laws 
and actions; in some respects, even more so 
than his father. A Jew, named Zedekiah, 
(who was disgraced and put to death under 
one of his successors,) was his first physician. 
He constantly protected them from all ill- 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND LOUIS LE DEBONNAIRE. 153 

treatment and injustice. He confirmed to 
them many privileges and immunities, (for 
instance, the right of holding land and possess* 
ing slaves,) and allowed them to refuse the 
ordeal hy fire or water, so much in use among 
the Christians of that age. He freed them 
from the grinding taxes known hy the bar- 
barous appellations of Paraverdum^'^ Mansion 
naticum,^ Telonium.X All these immunities 
were confirmed to the Jews by the Emperor 
and King in the year 830, in the form of a 
most gracious edict addressed to two Israelites, 
Domat Rabbi and his grandson, Samuel. The 
Jews of that period had almost entire posses- 
sion of the trade with Venice and the Levant, 
and had thus acquired great power, especially 
in the south of France. At Narbonne, for 
instance, for many years after, one of the two 
chief magistrates was by prescriptive right a 
Jew. On their account, the fairs, which had 
before been held on a Saturday, were, by the 
Imperial Commissaries, changed to another day 
of the week. Lyons was at that period the 

* A tax for exemption frpm the obligation of furnish- 
ing post-horses for the high roads. 

f A tax for exemption Q-om the obligation to lod^e 
soldiers. 

X CqBton»^taxes on imports bj sea. 
h3 



Digitized by 



Google 



154 THE JEWS AND LOUIS L£ DEBONNAIRE. 

centre of their industry and commerce, they 
inhabited the best part of the town, and pos- 
sessed a very fine synagogue. It was to no 
purpose that the clergy in their councils fretted 
and remonstrated against so much favour being 
shown to the Jews. Even Agobard, Bishop 
of Lyons, found no opportunity at court for 
venting his vehement complaints; though, 
according to his account, the influence of the 
Jews in his time was so great, that they openly 
boasted of possessing the monarch's decided 
preference, and declared that some Christians 
found more interest in the conversation and 
teaching of the Rabbins, than of their own 
priests. We find, in a letter from the bishop 
we have just named, a singular complaint, 
especially in that age; he says, "that the 
country people looked upon the Jews as the 
only people of God!" Some persons, there- 
fore, must have considered that the Jews held 
a purer faith than the Eoman Catholics them- 
selves. We read about this time (a.d. 839) 
of a deacon, named Bodo, who was admitted 
to Judaism by the rite of circumcision. 

The position of the Jews underwent an 
entire change at the downfall of the Carlovin- 
gian dynasty, which began to decay after the 
death of Louis le D6bonnaire. The invasion 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND THE NORMANS. 155 

of the Normans, who, in the latter years of 
the reign of Charlemagne, began to overrun 
Europe, was partly the cause, and partly the 
signal for a complete change of the whole 
state of things in that quarter of the world. 
The whole sur&ce of affairs in Germany, 
France, and to a certain extent in Italy and 
England also, was (if we may so express it) 
completely flooded, and its aspect from that 
time entirely changed. An age of barbarism 
spread over the whole face of Christianity, 
during which the power of kings, the com* 
mercial prosperity of nations, their internal 
and external means of communication, and in 
a word, all general peace and order were in^ 
volved in one common ruin. During this age 
of almost revolutionary anarchy, the feudal 
system developed itself. This striking charac- 
teristic of the middle ages, the sole remedy for 
so many existing evils, became so firmly estab* 
lished that its remains still exist, and continue, 
though with a decreasing power, to exert their 
influence over the institutions of the present 
time. To the Jews, this new system was in 
every way injurious. With the growth of the 
feudal system in Europe, the rise of the Cape- 
tiau dynasty in France, and the establishment 
of the Duke of Normandy on the throne of 



Digitized by 



Google 



156 THE JEWS AI^O THE N0BMAH8. 

England, commenced a period of seven cen# 
tunes, the time of the most crael oppression 
and deepest debasement which that unhappy 
nation ever underwent. 

No greater contrast can possibly be imagined 
than that between the Norman and the Jew, 
during the time of the middle ages, It has 
been generally remarked, that the Jews, during 
the whole period of their dispersion, have 
found themselves less at home in the north of 
Europe than in any part of the globe. But, 
as opposed to the celebrated Norman race, 
who, in the ninth century, invaded and 
renewed the whole European population, we 
may especially look upon the Jews as the com* 
plete antipodes of the nations of Christendom. 
Thus it was no mere matter of chance which 
made the period of Norman glory, the time of 
lowest degradation to the Jews. It formed 
part of a regular system, because what was 
most opposed to the Jews, and most detested 
by them, was the special object of reverence 
and devotion to the Normans, whose submis- 
sion to the Papal power, both spiritual and 
temporal, was absolute and entire. We may 
easily recal to mind an instance of most 
bigoted submission to the Papacy, coupled 
with cruel enmity to the Jews, in King Johu^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND THE CRUSADES. 157 

sornamed Lackland, who gave up his kingdom 
to the Pope, to receive it again as a vassal ; 
whilst the sufferings of the Jews in his 
reign have been painted both in history and 
romance. 

The period during which Romeand the Papacy 
were most highly exalted, from the time of 
Gregory VII., in the eleventh century, corre- 
sponds in part with the age of the Qrusades ; 
which commenced towards the close of the 
same century, and lasted, at intervals, for a 
space of 200 years. No act of the Christians 
ever displayed such unaccountable hatred to 
the remnant of Israel as the Crusades. While 
preparing for an expedition to the Israelites' 
own fatherland, the crusaders consecrated each 
attempt to conquer the city of the Temple, and 
the tomb of the Saviour of the world, the 
King of the Jews, by first drawing their 
swords in Europe upon the defenceless exiles 
of Palestine. A furious band, under the 
notorious Gauthier Sans avoir^ signalized their 
unhallowed zeal by most revolting deeds of 
violence and murder perpetrated on the Jews 
of Treves. The bishop of that town thought 
it right to refuse protection to these unfortu- 
nate people, and rather to make use of the 
opportunity for compelling them to receive 



Digitized by 



Google 



158 THE JEWS AND BERNARD, 

baptism. Driven to desperation by this craelty, 
men slew their children and themselves with 
their own hands, and women threw themselves 
from the bridges into the river. From Treves 
the fire of persecution spread to Cologne, 
Mentz, Worms, and Spires, where the Jews 
fought desperately, and sold their lives dearly. 
Persecution raged on the banks of the Danube 
as well as the Rhine, We find mentioned in 
some records, that a massacre took place in 
Bavaria of as many as 12,000 Jews. In fact, 
the period of the Crusades was the beginning 
of a long continuance of oppression, murders, 
and bodily tortures, inflicted upon the Jews 
in almost every part of Christendom. 

In the midst of these horrible atrocities and 
crying oppression, it is gratifying to hear one 
voice at least raised to protest against these 
crimes, — a voice expressive of Christian bene- 
volence towards the objects of so much hatred 
and cruelty. Impartiality requires us to state, 
that such a voice more than once issued from 
Rome by the mouth, of her popes. Gregory 
IX. in 1240, and Innocent IV. in 1260, are 
specially noticed as pleading the cause of the 
Jews in their day with nations and kings. 
But none delivered a testimony so entirely 
just, merciful, and in accordance with the 



Digitized by 



Google 



ABBOT OP CLAIRVAULX. 159 

spirit of the Gospel, as the celebrated Bernard, 
Abbot of Clairvaulx, in France, a man eminent 
both for the sanctity of his life, and the spiritu- 
ality of his writings, from whence he was 
sumamed the last of the Fathers, His high 
character, which had secured almost universal 
respect, enabled him to exercise considerable 
influence, both in the Christian Church and 
over the crowned heads of Europe. To this 
influence may be chiefly traced the commence- 
ment of the second Crusade, in the year 1146, 
in which the Emperor Conrad III, and King 
Louis VII, of France took part. 

Again, men calling themselves Christians, 
were preparing to open the campaign with a 
massacre of the Jews, An unworthy monk, 
named Sadulphus, stirred up the populace of 
Cologne, Strasburg, and other towns of Ger- 
many against them. Let us hear how the 
Abbot of Clairvaulx speaks to the sanguinary 
and seditious monk, and pleads the cause of 
the menaced Israelites; first, in an epistle to 
the clergy and laity of what was then called 
Eastern France, and afterwards in a letter 
addressed to Henry, Archbishop of Mentz:* — 

" For the rest, brethren, I exhort you, yet 

* St Bemardi (Abbatis Claravallensis) EpistoleB, 132 
et 133. 



Digitized by 



Google 



160 THE ^BWS AND THE 

not I alone, but the Apostle of Ood vnth me, 
* not to believe every spirit.* We have heard, 
and we rejoice, that the zeal for Ood is strong 
in you; but it is well that the discretion of 
wisdom should not be wanting. The Jews 
ought not to be persecuted, they ought not to 
be put to death, they ought not to be driven 
into banishment Consult Holy Scripture. I 
know that it is prophesied in the Psalms con* 
ceming the Jews — ^God,* saith the Church, 
*will make me triumph over mine enemies, 
slay them not, lest my people forget/ These 
men are liviag monuments to remind us of the 
sufferings of our Lord. For this cause they 
are dispersed into all countries, that, while 
they suffer the just punishment of their 
heinous sin, they may be witnesses of our 
redemption. Therefore, in the same psalm, 
the Church adds, * Scatter them by thy power, 
and put them down, O Lord, our protector.' ♦ 
Thus it is they are scattered, they are put 
down, they endure a hard bondage under 
Christian princes, yet in the evening-tide of 
the world they will be converted, and he will 
remember them." 

Addressing himself to Eadulphus, he thus 

♦ This is the version of the Vulgate, of which the 
writer makes use. 



Digitized by 



Google 



ABBOT OF CLATRVAULX. 161 

speaks: — "Are you greater than our father 
Abraham, who laid down the sword at God's 
command, which he had drawn in obedience 
to Him ? Are you greater than the prince of 
the Apostles, who asked, ^ Lord, shall we 
smite with the sword T But I think you are 
filled with the wisdom of the Egyptians, which 
is foolishness in the sight of God ; you are of 
another mind from Him who said, *Put up 
thy sword in the sheath, for he that taketh the 
sword shall perish by the sword,' Does not 
the Church, day by day, triumph more glori- 
ously over the Jews, when she refutes and 
converts them, than if she slew them at once 
with the edge of the sword? Does she not 
pray the Lord daily to take the veil from their 
eyes, that they may be brought out of dark- 
ness to the light of truth? The Church knows 
that the Lord looketh with grace on those 
who return good for evil, love for hatred. 
What signify then the words, * Slay them nott* 
What meaneth the promise, * When the ful- 
ness of the Gentiles shall be come in, then all 
Israel shall be saved'? What the promise, 
*The Lord will build Jerusalem, He shall 
gather together the outcasts of Israel'? Are 
you the man who will make the prophets liars, 
and bring to nought the whole treasure of 



Digitized by 



Google 



162 THE JEWS IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 

mercy and grace in Christ Jesus? You are 
in truth like your master, who was a murderer 
from the beginning!" 

It was not only such occasional outbreaks of 
popular fury, which rendered the position of 
the Jews in the middle ages so deeply and 
hopelessly miserable ; the place assigned to 
them in the social edifice of those times was 
such, as naturally to produce a condition, 
wherein contempt and debasement were by 
turns the cause and effect of one another. 
The organization of the feudal system formed 
the sole barrier against the tide of anarchy 
and social disruption with which, after the 
reign of Charlemagne, the whole Continent of 
Europe was threatened. This system estab- 
lished a kind of political hierarchy in» every 
part of Europe, in which the very lowest and 
most degraded position was assigned to the 
Jews. Henceforth they became the Pariahs 
of the West. That any place at all, even the 
most abject, was assigned to them, was a sort 
of favour, owing to a peculiar circumstance, 
which, in its turn, contributed not a little to 
their humiliation and degeneracy. 

The Romans had early looked upon com- 
merce as imbecoming the dignity of a warlike 
and conquering nation. The northern tribes, 



Digitized by 



Google 



COMMERCE, ETC., OF THE JEWS. 163 

who, in their migrations during the fifth and 
succeeding centuries, had taken the place of 
the Romans, manifested still greater contempt 
for all matters of finance and traffic. The 
free men possessed the land, the rest of the 
population were either peasants, serfs, or 
inhabitants of the towns ; the latter, for a 
long time, were rather artisans than men of 
commerce or capital. Thus all trading, bank* 
ing, and financial operations fell, as it were, 
naturally into the hands of the Jews, who, 
considering themselves as strangers, and 
looked upon as enemies by Christians, were 
more and more completely shut out from the 
possession of land, and the practice of agricul- 
ture. Commerce itself, in the situation in 
which the Jews of that time were placed, soon 
took a more ignoble turn, and sunk into petty 
traffic, while their financial speculations not 
unfrequently degenerated into usury. At 
least the cry of hatred and indignation on this 
account was first raised against them during 
the middle ages. 

To understand this accusation of usury, and 
to pass sentence upon it with fairness, we must 
take into account the habits of the age in 
which it first arose, together with the natural 
disposition and peculiar destiny of the Israelites 



Digitized by 



Google 



164 COMMERCE AND USURY 

themselves. They were not originally a com- 
mercial nation, but shepherds and husbandmen; 
and here we may again repeat the observa- 
tion, that ** Israel is only really Israel in his 
own country/' Their change of occupation, 
when they became men of commerce instead 
of husbandmen, must be viewed in close con- 
nexion with their position as wanderers over 
the earth. 

It was when dispersed and scattered among 
all nations, that they took advantage of their 
very peculiar position for the purposes of 
traffic. 

But though the Israelites, closely connected 
by ties of brotherhood, yet strangers in many 
lands, began their commercial operations on a 
large scale, they could not long preserve them 
on the same footing, while the main body of 
their population was sunk (as the penalty of 
their sin) to the very lowest grade of society. 

At length, being crushed and confined 
within the very narrowest circle in which his 
existence could be endured, by the Christian 
nations, the Jew was forced, by a combination 
of circumstances, to confine his inventive 
genius to financial speculations exclusively. 
We must not, however, imagine that every- 
thing to which the name of usury was given 



Digitized by 



Google 



OF THE JEWS. 165 

in the middle ages, when the science of finance 
was unknown, really deserved that eppella^ 
tion.* The prejudices of the time did not 
aUow men to consider that property in money, 
as well as in land, or any other possession, 
ought to bring in some return to its owner. 
The Jews, it is true, had a large share in 
causing this misunderstanding, by the means 
they employed to change a fair interest into a 
detestable system of usury ; but Christians, on 
the other hand, were no less to blame. The 
historian and the impartial judge will thus 
view both sides of the case, when considering 
the financial operations of the Jews in the 
midst of the Christian nations ; and in fairly 
analyzing the charges against them, he will, 
at any rate, acknowledge the science and 
talents, as well as the cupidity and avarice, 
vi^hich they displayed. We must recognise 
the services rendered by the Jews, both to the 
theory and practice of finance, while our feel* 

* To jttdtiiy the Jews from the accusation of having 
established an ahnost universal system of usury, I will 
not repeat, for it is a truth no longer contested, that they 
only gave in to this vice in those countries where the 
ill-treatment of Christians compelled them to resort to 
such expedients to preserve the fruit of their labours.-* 
Beignotf ** Lea Jutfs ^Ocddentr 



Digitized by 



Google 



166 COMMERCE, ETC., OF THE JEWS. 

ings are revolted by the infamous abuse of 
interest, which brings a curse like that of 
leprosy upon every one who is guilty of it, 
whether bearing the name of Jew or Christian. 

The enormous rate of interest exacted by 
the Jews of the middle ages cannot be de- 
fended, but may be easily accounted for to 
their own discredit, as well as to that of Chris- 
tian nations and princes. Excluded by the 
feudal system from every honourable and 
legitimate career, his life continually threat- 
ened, his property and means of subsistence 
defenceless against injustice and oppression, 
it is not to be wondered at that the Jew 
employed without scruple the only weapons 
which were left to him. He encountered 
violence and force with artifice BXL'dL finesse^ he 
opposed the law of the strongest with calcula* 
tion and deep*laid schemes: in a word, he 
brought to bear the power of gold against that 
of iron. Injustice was practised on both sides, 
in diametrically opposite ways ; and who shall 
decide which was the most guilty, — the noble 
baron who, from his fortress on the banks of 
the Rhine, pillaged the vessel of the passing 
navigator, or the oppressed Jew, who, with 
as little mercy, ruined half Paris by his usury? 

By their superiority in financial affairs, the 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHARACTER OF THE OPPRESSED JEWS. 167 

Jews excited popular fury to the very utmost. 
Doubly detested, as the murderers of Christ 
and the bloodsuckers of Christian wealth, they 
were, in the middle ages, a special object of 
severity to the laws, both ecclesiastical and 
civil, — of hatred to the burghers,— and of vio- 
lence to the populace. The sovereigns who 
gave them protection, usually made use of 
them as of a sponge, which they allowed to 
fill with the money of their subjects, and then 
squeezed its contents into the Eoyal treasury. 
They were, however, sometimes obliged to 
leave them to the mercy of their enemies, at a 
period when a single sermon from a malevolent 
or imprudent monk, or a single absurd report 
of murder having been committed on a Chris- 
tian child to celebrate their passover with his 
blood, or even a mere outbreak of blind 
fanaticism among the populace, was sufficient 
to bring murder and pillage upon the whole of 
a Jewish quarter. 

All this, it is true, was in opposition to 
existing laws, and might have been prosecuted 
and punished by the courts of justice. But 
the laws themselves were but little more 
lenient to the Jew. They excluded him from 
every dignity which might raise his position, 
and from every employment which might 



Digitized by 



Google 



168 CHABACTEB OF THE 

ameliorate it. The Jews were debarred by law 
from holding landed property, from exercising 
any civil or military office, and even from the 
right of citizenship ; while many humiliating 
obligations were imposed upon them. They 
were shut up vdthin the narrow bounds of a 
peculiar quarter, often, as in many towns of 
Italy and Rome in particular, locked up at 
night like cattle in a yard. Open marks of 
degradation were imposed upon them, such as 
yellow clothes, peaked hats, and the like. In 
Bohemia, there was an edict issued, prescribing 
a peculiar manner of hanging the Jews, in 
order that a distinction might be made be- 
tween their body and that of the Christian 
criminal who might share the same fate.* 

Wa» 4t possible that such a classification 
and such treatment should fail in producing 
an effect upon the moral character of the Jews, 
and tending at once to enervate and to harden 
the subject of such cruel oppression 1 Can we 
be surprised that he, whose toleration in the 
society around him depended only on the little 
money he possessed, should cling to that pos- 
session with the greatest tenacity ? or that, 
finding his activity compelled, as it were, to 
centre on this point, he should have made it 
* Ut a Christianis auspensis discemerenttir. 



Digitized by 



Google 



OPPRESSED JEWS. 169 

the one subject of delight, of absorbing in* 
terest, and earthly pleasure ? Can we be sur* 
prised that his outward appearance should 
have suffered as well as his inward character ; 
or that his countenance should come to wear 
the expression of that '^ love of money which 
is the root of all evil," — of that timidity and 
trembling of heart which belongs to the man 
who lives in the midst of distrust, aversion, 
and hateful plots, — who feels no security for 
his property, his life, or for what, to the heart 
of the husband and the fitther, is as dear or 
dearer than life ? 

Let us compare these details of the sad con- 
dition of the Israelites in the middle ages, with 
the words written twenty-five centuries before 
by their great prophet and historian, Moses, in 
the Book of Deuteronomy (xxviii. 29). After 
having drawn the terrible picture of their ruin 
as a nation in the land of their fathers, he 
concludes with the following words, which 
evidently refer to their situation as wanderers 
over the earth : — " And the Lord shall scatter 
thee among all people, from the one end of 
the earth even unto the oth^r ; and there thou 
shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor 
thy fiithers have known, even wood and stone. 
And among these nations shalt thou find no 

I 



Digitized by 



Google 



170 CHARACTER OF THE 

ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have 
rest; but the Lord shall give thee there a 
trembling heart, and failing of eyes^ and 
sorrow of mind: and thy life shall hang in 
doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day 
and night, and shalt have none assurance of 
thy life : in the morning thou shalt say, 
Would God it were even ! and at even thou 
shalt say, Would God it were morning! for 
the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt 
fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which 
thou shalt see." (Deut. xxviii. 64 — 67.) 
Here was again manifested the severity of God 
upon them that fell* But ye, O nations of the 
earth ! witnesses, and in great measure execu* 
tioners of the Divine sentence, boast not your- 
selves against this Israel, so heavily chastened, 
but rather fear for yourselves ! Kejoice not at 
the humiliation of the chosen people, but be 
merciful, be just to them. Observe, espe- 
cially, how the God of their fathers, while he 
visits their transgression with most terrible 
affliction, does not forget to show forth at the 
same time his faithfulness and truth to the 
posterity of Jacob. He will bless those who 
do good to them, and will visit it upon those 
who evil entreat them. Oppressed Israel still 
survives I but where are the many nations 



Digitized by 



Google 



OPPRESSED JEWS. 171 

who have oppressed them 1 Even amid 
their deepest degradation, God has not only 
preserved to them a separate existence, bnt 
has preserved them in a state that possesses 
the greatest capability for restoration and 
renewed life. The Israelite, despised till he 
became despicable, has yet, by God's provi- 
dential dealings, become in a manner indis* 
pensable to the social existence of the world. 
Alas ! up to this day, that people have supplied 
the nations of the earth with silver and gold, 
whose high calling it once was (and will be 
again !) to scatter among them the riches of 
the knowledge and the glory of God. 

Yes, deep indeed was Israel's &11, and 
grievous to all who love him are his wounds, 
his misery, and his reproach. And yet, by 
the side of his vices, odious in their nature, 
and so greatly detested by the nations, there 
were still to be found some virtues and good 
qualities which the Israelite never lost, even 
in the time of his greatest misery. Unhap- 
pily hardened against faith in Christ Jesus, he 
has ever continued constant to his belief in 
Moses. He sometimes sets an example which 
may make Christians blush, of temperance, of 
chastity, obedience to lawful authority, mercy, 
and benevolence. His activity is $qual to his 

I 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



172 CHARACTER OF THE 

skill* Though cruellj tormented and pro- 
yoked, he can yet forgive injuries. Beneath 
the proof-armour of insensibility, put on as a 
shield against the contempt of those around 
him, he often possessed deep feelings of kind- 
ness. Amid all his sufferings from without, 
family peace, and a happy home, were usually 
his portion. Wearied with long days and 
weeks of labour and insult, he found repose in 
the bosom of his family, by the light of his 
Sabbath lamp. There, the Israelite, so con-* 
stantly, so universally spumed, became again 
a patriarch. He broke the bread, and blessed 
the cup, after the manner of his forefathers, 
aft;er the manner of that very Jesus and his 
apostles, whom to his own sorrow, he so 
blindly refuses to acknowledge. The very 
expression of his countenance betrays, even in 
its degeneracy, a far nobler origin than a care- 
less and superficial world would care to recog* 
nise, or even to look for. The Jewish skuU 
and the Jevnsh countenance, in many a 
maiden of that nation, offer even now, to a 
Winckelman or a Lavater, a type of Oriental 
beauty. Nor do we invariably find an Isaac 
of York, beside an interesting Rebecca, nor a 
Shylock of Venice, beside a fiedr Jessica, 
^^ iCshamed to be her fiEither's child." 



Digitized by 



Google 



. OPPRESSED JEWS* 173 

Oftentimes the conntenance of the Israelite 
himself brings before oar imagination one of 
the noble or amia^ble characters of the Old 
Testament, — nay, has furnished a model to 
the painter, when representing the King of 
Israel upon the cross. 

The peculiar feature, both of Israel and his 
history, consists in striking contrasts. The 
most marked election, and the most terrible 
reprobation ; the blessing of Abraham the 
pastoral chief, and the curse of Judas's thirty 
pieces of silver ; the rejection of the Messiah, 
and yet the ever-abiding and close connexion 
of the Messiah with the Jews. 

We will now resume the thread of events. 
Having sketched the social position of the Jews 
in Europe during the middle ages, and noticed 
the general features by which it was distin- 
guished, we shall now draw from recorded facts 
an account of what befell them in particular, 
in the principal states of Christian Europe. 

The Jews in France, so signally patronized 
by the Carlovingian race, experienced very 
different treatment after the extincdon of that 
dynasty. The kings of the house of Caput 
were, in general, little inclined to show them 
favour. At the same time, nothing could b^ 
more variable than the different edicts pro- 



Digitized by 



Google 



174 THE JEWS IN FRANCE. 

mulgated in the different reigns concerning 
the Jews. Towards the close of the eleventh 
century they were banished, and afterwards 
recalled by Philip I. In the reign of Philip 
Augustus they were at first banished (1182), 
and then re-admitted upon certain conditions, 
one of which was the obligation to wear a 
little wheel upon their dress as a mark. 
Louis VIL (a.d. 1223) treated them all as his 
serfs, and with one stroke of his pen remitted 
to his Christian subjects all their debts to the 
Jews. Louis IX. (St Louis) distinguished 
himself above the rest by his hatred of the 
Jews, on account of their usury, their blasphe* 
mies, and their Talmud. Philip the Fair (in 
the early part of the fourteenth century), well 
known as the destroyer of the Knights Tem- 
plars, displayed at the same time his hatred 
to the Jewish people, and his love for their 
money and possessions« He banished them 
twice from the kingdom, in two succeeding 
years (1306-7). They were treated un&ovur- 
ably by his son, Louis X., while Philip V. the 
Long, his brother and successor, granted them 
favour and protection. In his reign, however, 
(a.d. 1341,) we find again brought forward 
against them the usual accusations of treason, 
poisoning the wells, &c., &c. ; and on this 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN FRAKCE. 175 

account many were burnt, many massacred, 
banished, or condemned to heavy fines. The 
year 1850, in the reign of John II., was 
the beginning of a time of rest for them. 
During the general distress of the country, 
and the captivity of the king in England, the 
Jews in France enjoyed a little quiet, some 
degree of favour from the States-General, and 
of praise from historians. Charles V. confirmed 
these privileges. In 1370 they were again 
banished, but soon recalled under Charles VI. 
and treated with more favour. The end of 
this century witnessed a fresh decree for their 
banishment, which, however, was never put 
in execution, but all debts to them were 
cancelled. Similar decrees of banishment 
have since been often proclaimed, but allowed 
either in part or entirely to fall to the ground. 
The various enactments of ecclesiastical law 
against the Jews, are more useful in furnishing 
information as to the rights and privileges 
which in France and elsewhere they formerly 
enjoyed, than of any penalties and disqualifica* 
tions which were carried out into actual execu* 
tion against them. Thus, by the Council of 
Yannes, a.d. 465, Christians, and especially 
their clergy, were forbidden to eat with Jews. 
The Second Council of Orleans, some years 



Digitized by 



Google 



176 THE JEWS IN FRANCE. 

later, prohibited marriage between Jews and 
Christians. The Council of Beziers (a.d. 1246) 
refused permission to consult a Jewish physi- 
cian. The Council of Chateau-Gonthier ex- 
cluded Jews from holding the office of bailli, 
or any other which would give them the right 
to punish Christians. It is precisely from 
regulations such as these, which appear to 
have been seldom put in execution, that we 
learn in what position the Jews stood with 
respect to the rest of the population, before 
these different prohibitions were issued. 

Nothing could be more variable than the 
principles of legislation in France, during the 
middle ages, with regard to the Jews. They 
were banished, and again recalled ; usury was 
at one time forbidden, at another allowed 
under certain restrictions ; just as it happened 
that the king, nobles, or chief citizens, wanted 
the help of the Jews, or could do without 
them. Above all, having no fixed position in 
society, we find them treated at one time 
as villeins belonging to the soil, "glebae 
adscripti," or as slaves (servi)^ and as such, 
sold or alienated with the domains of the kinjg; 
or great vassals of the Crown, as a part of the 
property. At another time, on the contrary, 
they were in the possession of liberties and 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IX FRANCE. 177 

privfleges, the protection of which was, in 
France, entrusted to a particular oflSicer. The 
first traces of this office appear under the 
Carloyingian dynasty, when a certain Count 
Everard is spoken of, in the year 828, as 
** Magister Judeeorum," governor of, or agent 
for, the Jews. In later times it was the pro* 
tector or guardian-general of the Jews, upon 
whose subordinates, called "guardians," the 
Jews depended in matters of jurisdiction, both 
civil and criminal, and to whom they addressed 
their complaints. The "Protector of the 
Jews" was, for many centuries, chosen from 
among the highest nobility of the kingdom ; 
thus, in 1357, the Count d'Etampes, a prince 
of the blood, held this office, and in 1424 
John de Forbin, brother of the governor of 
Provence. That the office was a lucrative one 
may be inferred from the nature of the times 
and of the people. The "Protector," how- 
ever, was not always the friend of the Jews; 
nay, sometimes he was their bitter enemy. 

It has been already remarked, that the 
nearer we approach the Pyrenees the more 
fevourable, generally speaking, was the posi- 
tion of the Jews. In the south of France, 
most of the trade, especially that with the 
East, in spices, remained in their hands; at 
I 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



178 THE JEWS IN FRANCE. 

Marseilles, for instance, formerly cdHed Hebraa^ 
or the Jewish, from the great business carried 
on by Jews in that place. Nevertheless, in 
these provinces even, local statutes placed 
Jews on a level with the outcasts of society. 
At Toulouse, as late as the thirteenth century, 
a Jew was compelled to receive yearly in 
Easter week a blow on the ^e before the 
doors of the principal church, in remembrance 
of a town which they had delivered up to the 
Saracens. At Beziers, the bishop yearly on 
Palm Sunday mounted the pulpit, and solemnly 
exhorted the multitude to avenge the death of 
the Saviour upon the Jews of the place. After 
the year 1160, a sum of money was yearly 
received as a substitute for the continuance of 
this insulting usage. 

The theol(^ical studies of the Jews and 
their Hebrew learning, met with more favour 
in the south of France, than in any of the other 
provinces. In the north, except at Paris, 
where there was a Rabbinical school of some 
note, we find no trace of any similar institu- 
tion ; whereas in the south, Montpellier, Mar* 
seilles, Narbonne, Beziers, and other towns, 
were celebrated for their synagogues and aca- 
demies, as well as for their Rabbinical writers, 
commentators, and grammarians. We may 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN FRANCE. 179 

name Grerson the elder and Jacob Bar Jekar, 
in the eleventh century; and lastly, Rabbi 
Solomon of Montpellier, in the twelfth, a 
leader among those Rabbins who so strenuously 
exerted themselves to oppose the philosophical 
and anti-traditional tendencies of the celebrated 
Maimonides^ of Cordova. The French syna* 
gogues took the part of the traditional school, 
against the majority of those in Spain and 
Provence. Another French Rabbi, of no ordi- 
nary celebrity, succeeded in reconciling the 
synagogues of that country to the writings of 
Maimonides. This was David, the son of 
Joseph Kimchi, descended from a Spanish 
femUy, which had produced many learned 
men, who gained great reputation as a Hebrew 
grammarian. His name ranks high both 
among Jews and Christians, as a commentator 
on the Old Testament, and the writings of the 
earlier Rabbins. Lastly, Rabbi Solomon Ben 
Isaac, who lived in the eleventh century, be- 
longs to the learned Jews of France, though 
the name of Yarchi, which he bears, is appa^ 
rently derived from the town of Luna, in Spain. 
Besides his other writings, this Rabbi is famed 
for his Commentaries upon aU the books of the 
Old Testament Bom at Troyes, in Cham- 
pagne (1105), he appears to have reached the 



Digitized by 



Google 



180 'THE JEWS IN FttANCB. 

age of sixty-five. Many writers have sketched 
for him a life of adventures, of which a large 
portion helong to the region of romance ; not 
so, however, his travels for seven years, during 
which he visited Germany, Italy, Greece, 
Palestine, and Persia. 

An interesting portion of the Jewish history 
in the middle ages is connected with the king- 
dom of Provence. There the influence of 
Spain, always considerable in the south of 
[France, stiU predominated, especially while 
Provence continued an independent state. 
The practice of medicine was chiefly in the 
hands of Jews, in spite of the decree of the 
Council. King R£n6, in the fifteenth century, 
was surrounded by Jewish physicians and 
astronomers or astrologers. When Provence 
was incorporated with France, in the year 
1481, the Jews were soon banished by an 
edict of Louis XII. The descendants of some 
of the Provencal Jews, having embraced Chris- 
tianity, are met with in later times among the 
nobility of that province. 

In proportion as we advance towards the 
north of Europe, we find the children of the 
captivity less prosperous and less stationary. 
Norway, Sweden, and Denmark had no 
Jewish inhabitants during the middle ages. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THB JEWS IN ENGLAND. 181 

In the two former countries, a few wanderers 
have settled since the time of the Reformation. 
We find that in England they continued, till 
near the end of the thirteenth century, in a 
state of degradation and wretchedness, ren- 
dered more striking by its contrast to the 
wealth they actually possessed. Here, even 
more than elsewhere, were the Jews, during 
the middle ages, treated as cattle fattened for 
the slaughter ; kings and people alike looked 
upon them merely as subjects for extortion 
and persecution. The Jews on their side, 
next to the religion of their fathers, from 
which men sought to tear them by force> 
clung to nothing so much as their riches, 
gained with much labour by banking and 
usury. For many years the houses and syna- 
gogues which they bought in the towns of 
England, often taken from them for nothing, 
or by a forced sale, bore marks of their wealth. 
It is, however, unjust to say (as one historian 
does), that no traces of schools or learned men 
are to be found among the English Jews of 
the middle ages. More exact research con- 
firms the remarks of Rabbi Salomon Ben 
Virga upon the learned men, and especially 
the physicians, which that nation can boast of 
in Great Britain, during the time of their 



Digitized by 



Google 



182 THE JEWS IN ENGLAND^ 

greatest obscurity. It is certain that they 
possessed extensive libraries, of which they 
were stripped before their final expulsion. 
History also records public disputations upon 
religion between Bishops of the Church and 
Jewish Doctors, giving manifest evidence 
of the knowledge possessed by the English 
Jews of that period, in matters of a higher 
nature than mere worldly gain. 

The first residence of the Jews in England 
takej9 its date from the time of the Heptarchy, 
and the first mention of their existence is made 
in an ecclesiastical canon of Egbert, Arch* 
bishop of York (a.d. 740), which forbade 
Christians taking any part in the Jewish 
festivals. The laws of Edward the Confessor 
(a.d. 1041) declare them the property of the 
king, in the same manner as in France. Many 
Jews seem to have come over to England from 
Normandy with William the Conqueror. We 
find especial mention of them made in the 
time of William Rufus, the second king of the 
Norman line. This king, himself the enemy 
of the clergy, and but little attached to the 
Church, permitted the Jews to defend their 
religion in public, as much as they pleased. 
What, however, he liked best in them was 
their wealth, which, for his own sake no less 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN ENGLAND; 183 

than theirs, he gave them every opportunity 
of amassing, especially from the clergy. At 
that time the Jews possessed in London and 
elsewhere (as at Oxford and York) consider- 
able mansions, resembling the castles of the 
nobility in their exterior; and whole streets 
were afterwards named from them. 

It was under Henry II. and his sons (in the 
twelfth century) that the cruel treatment and 
plundering of the Jews reached its height 
At the coronation of Richard Coeur-de-Iion, 
they were cruelly persecuted and massacred 
on a pretended charge of witchcraft. At 
Stamford, they suffered grievously during the 
same reign, from the knights preparing for the 
Crusades. At York, the hatred of the populace 
vented itself in a terrible attack upon the Jews, 
which drove them to seek refuge in a royal 
castle in the neighbourhood. When pursued 
and besieged there, they fell into such despair 
as to slay with their own hands their wives, 
their children, and one another, abandoning 
to the flames all the property they had brought 
with them. King Eichard, whose treatment 
of the Jews was, to a certain extent, regulated 
by justice, punished the authors of this cruel 
outrage. On his return from Palestine, and 
subsequent escape from prison, he established 



Digitized by 



Google 



184 THE JEWS IN ENGLAND; 

" itinerant justicers," who were to go through 
the kingdom and take cognizance of the afiiairs 
of the Jews. But these are evident proofs 
that their real good was not what the king 
had in view ; he only thought to secure their 
miserahle money, or rather the money of his 
subjects, which the usury of this unhappy race 
served to bring into his treasury. 

The same system of policy, but accompa- 
nied vnth greater meanness, was practised by 
Richard's brother and successor. King John 
began his reign (a.d. 1199) by granting to the 
Jews all kinds of liberties and privileges ; but 
he soon showed in what manner he meant to 
exercise his goodwill. To dispose of the purses 
and properties of the Jews, as presents to his 
friends, or to enrich his own treasury, was but 
a trifling indication of his royal purposes 
towards them. Not content with appropriat- 
ing to himself their known treasures, he com- 
pelled them, by the most cruel torments (pull- 
ing out their teeth or eyes), to reveal the 
treasure which they had concealed. In this 
manner he extorted from a Jew of. Bristol the 
sum of 10,000 marcs of silver (a.d. 1210). 

Henry TIT., the son and successor of John 
(a.d. 1217 — 1272) treated the Jews upon the 
same principles. Privileges and protection 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN ENGLAND. 185 

from the clergy and populace were granted to 
the Jews, only to afford the king an opportu- 
nity of enriching himself at their expense. 
Their persecution consequently became still 
more severe; and yet princes such as these 
dfar^({ to found establishments for the conver- 
sion of the Jews ! and conversions sometimes 
took place, the sincerity of which, however, 
can rarely be ascertained. Even these conver- 
sions gave fresh occasion for the old accusa- 
tions against them, — of murdering Christian 
children, particularly those of their former 
co-religionists. 

The position of the Jews under all these 
inflictions became so unbearable, that they 
earnestly petitioned the king to allow them to 
leave the country. This request was not 
granted, and it was not till the year 1290 that 
Edward I., in accordance with a proposal from 
the Parliament, gave sentence for their per- 
petual banishment. The Jews, with their 
families, and all the moveable property they 
had been able to rescue, quitted the country, to 
the number of fifteen or sixteen thousand. 
Even to the very last moment, however, such 
exactions and cruelties were inflicted upon 
them that many threw themselves into the sea, 



Digitized by 



Google 



186 THE JEWS IN GEBMANT. 

and others reached the Continent in a pitiable 
state of misery and destitution. 

Tradition assigns a very early date to the 
establishment of the Jews in Germany. Some, 
indeed, seem to have come there in the train 
of the Roman armies, and to have settled in 
the Roman colonies in those parts, especially 
on the banks of the Mease and Rhine. An 
edict of the Emperor Constantine shows that 
in the year 321 they were already established 
at Cologne. In that town they soon became 
numerous, and prosperous in commerce, while 
they continued to enjoy many important privi- 
leges. The commencement of the middle ages 
in Germany, as elsewhere, put an end to this, 
comparatively speaking, &vourable position 
of the Jews. From that time, there, as in 
England, a series of oppression and degrada- 
tion ensued, which is the more wearisome to 
detail because in Germany it lasted longer, 
and was not interrupted by any banishment. 
On the other hand, the history of the German 
Jews affords more proofs of learning and 
intellectual culture than that of the English, 
though far less than was manifested in France 
or Italy. We find mention made of many 
learned men who kept up the study of theo* 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEW8 IN GERMANY. 187 

logical learning and grammatical science. 
The German Rabbins held frequent correspond- 
ence with those of Spain, and this intercourse 
was enlivened by an occasional interchange of 
visits. The writings of Yarchi and other com- 
mentators of the same stamp were known and 
studied by the learned Jews of Germany. 
We find mention made of many assemblies, or 
general councils, held by the Jews, for discuss- 
ing matters of religion or theology. Among 
the German Rabbins of the middle ages, whose 
names and works have been recorded by 
various writers,* we may mention Rabbi 
Petachia of Ratisbon, a celebrated traveller, 
in the twelfth century. Soon after the inven- 
tion of printing, the German Jews distin- 
guished themselves by their editions of the 
Hebrew Old Testament (1489), and of divers 
Jewish authors and commentators. The de- 
scendants of a rabbi famed among the Israelites 
of his day (Rabbi Moses, of Spires) settled in 
Lombardy, and distinguished themselves in 
this line ; especially Rabbi Gerson, his great 
nephew, who set up a press first at Venice 
and afterwards at Constantinople. 

About this period we read of the conversion 
of some German Jews to the Christian faith. 

• Wolf, Bartolocci, and others, in their " BibliothecaB 
Babbinics.'* 



Digitized by 



Google 



188 THE JEWS IN GERMANY. 

One interesting case occurred at Cologne, in 
the middle of the twelfth century, that of 
Herman de Kappenberg, a monk of West- 
phalia, who wrote a touching account of his 
own conversion to Christianity. 

In every other respect, Germany, during 
these centuries, exercised a deadening and 
crushing influence on the energies of the 
exiles from Palestine. Rejected, excluded, 
and excluding themselves from all that might 
have led to a more honourable position, the 
great mass of Jews in this country also seemed 
to exist only for the payment of taxes and 
fines, for which they sought to indemnify 
themselves by extorting the greatest possible 
amount of usury, to the increasing deteriora- 
tion of their national character from genera- 
tion to generation. 

The Jews in Germany never had to com- 
plain of oppression proceeding directly from 
the Emperor, because they were placed in a 
peculiar position with respect to the head of 
that empire. The situation assigned to them 
by the feudal system of Europe, without the 
bounds as it were of the Christian body politic, 
caused them to depend immediately upon the 
Emperor, or rather the empire, and to bear 
the appellation of '^ Servants of the Imperial 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN GERMANY. 189 

chamber."* This name is sometimes incor- 
rectly considered to indicate either a state of 
slavery, like that of ancient times, or of serf* 
dom, as in the middle ages ; whereas this title 
really denoted an exemption from any other 
authority except the Imperial power. It has 
also been thought that, at all events, the Em- 
peror might dispose of the life and property of 
every Jew within his dominions. But the 
exercise of such a right would have been 
absurdly inconsistent with the Emperor's own 
interests ; on the contrary, together with his 
rights over the Jews was connected the obliga- 
tion of protecting them from and against all 
others, and of maintaining their existence as a 
synagogue and a nation. Upon these exclu- 
sively Imperial rights over the Jews, no prince 
or free town in Germany could encroach with- 
out the Emperor's express permission; and 
even with that permission, the protection 
granted to that part of the population must be 
scrupulously respected. Sometimes, too, the 
Emperor, regarding himself as the head of the 
feudal system throughout the Continent of 
Europe, claimed rights over the Jews, even 
beyond the limits of the Empire, e.y., in France 
and Italy. 

* Serri Camene Lnperialis et Gennanicae. 



Digitized by 



Google 



190 THE JEWS IN GERMANY. 

This direct and exclusive dependance of the 
Jews upon the Imperial power might certainly 
have operated to their advantage, by protect- 
ing them from other hostile powers, and thus 
have forwarded their attainment of liberty and 
civilization. But we know that the Imperial 
authority in Germany, though imposing in 
name and splendid in appearance, was in 
reality of little weight. It possessed neither 
the power nor the promptitude to repress any 
outbreak of popular fury caused by religious 
fanaticism, or excited by the wealth and usury 
of the Jews themselves. 

Some frightful instances of such outrages 
have been already specified, in the time of the 
first Crusade. They were repeated more than 
once in later times, with still more terrible 
violence, throughout the empire and elsewhere. 
The Jews in France and the Netherlands were 
but just beginning to breathe after the fury of the 
Pastoureaux (a set of fanatics of that time), who, 
it is said, had put to death whole synagogues ; 
when a new storm burst upon them from the 
banks of the Rhine. A certain man, named 
Armleder, an inn-keeper by profession, stirred 
up (1337), upon some pretext, the populace 
of those countries against the Jews, with so 
much success, that in Alsace alone more than 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN GERMANY. 191 

1,500 of that nation fell victims. Some years 
after, in 1348, a fresh pretext for killing the 
Jews was found in an epidemic malady, 
resembling, in a degree, the cholera morbus of 
our days. Half Europe was visited with this 
terrible scourge, and the populace cast the 
whole blame of it on the Jews, declaring that 
they had poisoned the wells. A general 
massacre was the consequence, against which 
princes, magistrates, bishops, and the Pope 
himself, remonstrated in vain. In the south 
of Germany, and in Switzerland, the persecu- 
tion raged with most violence : Duke Albert, 
of Austria, who wished to spare the Jews, was 
compelled by force to condemn five hundred 
of them to the flames. At Esslingen, they 
shut themselves up in the synagogue, and 
killed one another. At Basle, a house filled 
with Jewish fugitives was burnt, and the 
magistrates were compelled to promise with 
an oath, that they would not allow any Jew 
to establish himself in the city for the space of 
200 years. From this time also they were no 
longer tolerated at Zurich or Berne. At 
Strasburg, they were broken on the wheel and 
burnt by hundreds, and their synagogue de- 
molished to make way for a chapel. From 
the year 1389, all residence in that dty was 



Digitized by 



Google 



192 THE JEWS IN THE N£T|1£RIAND8. 

forbidden them, and (with the exception of a 
few families), no Jew suffered to remain in the 
place till the time of the French Revolution, 
four hundred years after. In Frankfort, while 
pillaging the houses of the Jews, a fire was 
kindled, which destroyed a quarter of the city. 
Impunity was almost everywhere granted to 
the perpetrators of these atrocities by Imperial 
edicts. 

The history of the Jews in the Netherlands 
during the middle ages is, on a smaller scale, 
much like that of Germany and the north of 
France. Jews, were early settled in the pro- 
vinces of Belgium and the northern part of 
the Netherlands. A few centuries later, a 
celebrated writer on commerce* declared, 
that the Jews formed an essential portion of 
a mercantile nation; but at the period of 
which I speak this principle was not under- 
stood in a way to benefit the Israelitish exiles, 
and their connexion, with either sovereigns 
or people, was on a very different footing. 
Nevertheless, the records of history bear wit- 
ness to the fact, that after the invasion of the 
Normans, the commerce in those provinces 
was all carried on by Jews, and that the 

* Becherches sur le Commerce, par Van den Oader- 
menlen, t. zi. p. 133. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN THE NETHERLANDS, 193 

entire failure of trade in Liege must be attri« 
buted to their banishment from that renowned 
Episcopal city. 

Jews were already living in flanders at the 
time of the Crusades. In later times, fugitives 
from France and England established them« 
selves in that country. They were driven out 
in the twelfth century, but by the fourteenth 
had already settled there again in great 
numbers. In Brabant, they were sometimes 
found useful and protected, sometimes se* 
verely persecuted and oppressed. Their final 
banishment from the duchy was caused by a 
charge of sacrilege, an accusation which had 
often before brought great numbers to the 
stake. In 1370, the populace accused them 
of having often pierced the holy wafer; the 
memory of this fact, and the signal vengeance 
which followed, has been preserved by Jubi- 
lees, the last of which was celebrated in the 
year 1820. The Jews also have perpetuated 
the remembrance of this catastrophe in an 
elegy, in which the first victim of it was said 
to be a rich banker of Enghien, named Jona- 
than. 

In Guelderland, the Jews were numerous, 
and enjoyed the protection of its counts (after- 
wards dukes), especially at Zutphen, Does- 

K 



Digitized by 



Google 



194 THE JEWS IN THE NETHERLANDS. 

burg, and Amheim. In the latter dty, about 
the middle of the fifteenth century, a Jew was 
appointed physician to the town, and the 
magistrates strictly prohibited any ill-treat- 
ment of them either in public or private. In 
the same century, however, a noble lady of 
Guelderland was burnt at Cologne for having 
married a Jew, which, in some countries, was 
a crime equivalent to adultery, according to 
the laws of those days. 

In Utrecht, and the different places belong- 
ing to the Episcopate, the Jews resided till the 
year 1444, at which time they were driven 
completely out of the town. In later times» 
till the revolution of 1795 in Holland, a resi* 
dence in Utrecht was still forbidden, while in 
the neighbouring village of Maarssen the Jews 
were numerous and influential. 

Holland, Zealand, and Friesland received, 
about the same period, their Jewish population 
from Hainault, where many Jews had sought 
refuge after their banishment from France by 
PhUip the Fair. We find William the Good, 
in 1304, not only favouring the Jews, but 
zealous for converting them by means of the 
clergy. The Jews, in later times, are more 
than once mentioned in the history of these 
countries. The house of Burgundy seems to 



Digitized by 



Google 



THB JEWS IN POLAND. 195 

have been less favourably disposed towards 
them, and, under Charles Y., theur sojourn in 
Holland was forbidden by repeated edicts. 
In subsequent years, the Jewish population in 
Holland was much increased in consequence 
of their banishment from Spain and Portugal ; 
of which an account will be given in the next 
Book. 

We have not yet noticed the Sdavonian 
nations in connexion with the Jews. It is 
only in the centuries succeeding the middle 
ages that this history acquires an especial 
interest. But very few were settled in Russia 
during this period, and they seem to have 
come to Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland, as 
emigrants fix>m France and Italy. They were 
already to be found at Prague before the end 
of the tenth century. Boleslaus II., soon 
after the national reception of the Gospel, 
granted them permission to build a synagogue, 
in recompense for the assistance they gave in 
his wars with the Pagan inhabitants. 

The Jews have existed in Poland very early, 
and in great numbers, and they are distin- 
gtdshed by peculiar characteristics. Among 
their coreligionists in other countries they 
have the reputation of extraordinary sa- 
gacity, — a sagacity which, at their nocturnal 
K 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



196 THE JEWS IN POLAND. 

studies y they employ in elucidating the 
Bible, Talmud, and Cabbala ; and which, in 
their daily occupations^ they turn to account 
by their clever and often cunning manage- 
ment of trade, which in that country is 
exclusively in their hands. 

The beauty of the Polish Jews, both men 
and women, is remarkable, partly as the cha- 
racteristic feature of their nation, and partly as 
an endowment which they share in common 
with the population of that interesting country. 
In the earlier centuries, the Jews enjoyed very 
peculiar privileges and exceptions, for which 
they were in great part indebted to Bolesk 
iaus v., Duke of Poland (1264). His great* 
grandson. King Cassimer, showed them still 
greater favour, out of love, it is said, for 
Esther, a beautiful Jewess. Synagogues, 
academies, and Babbinical schools, have 
always abounded in Poland; and the civil and 
criminal Judicature over theu* own people was 
granted to the Jewish synagogue. Banish- 
ment and persecution rarely occurred, except 
by an invasion of Tartars and Muscovites. 
To the Jews in Poland belonged the peculiar 
privilege, that any one of their nation who 
embraced Christianity and distinguished him- 
self in the army, became by right, a noble. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN ITALT. 197 

To this day, many of the Polish nobility 
acknowledge their descent from Jewish fami* 
lies. Privileges elsewhere conferred upon the 
nobility alone, were in this country granted 
even to unbaptized Jews. 

One peculiar feature in the history of the 
Jewish population of Poland is, that some of 
them belong to the sect called Karaites. It 
appears that still greater favour was shown to 
them than to the Rabbinical Jews, because of 
their aversion to the Talmud, their nearer 
approach to Christianity, and their esteem for 
Jesus Christ as a teacher. The Karaites seem 
tp have come into Poland from Tartary ; and 
King Stephen, in the year 1578, published an 
edict in their favour. Recent information on 
the subject leads us to think that the Karaites 
have been so highly praised, more from a feel- 
ing of antipathy to the Talmudists, than be* 
cause of any great superiority of virtue or 
civilization on their part. 

We shall conclude, with Italy, our survey 
of Europe during the middle ages, — a country 
well known from ancient times as the resi- 
dence of a great number of Israelites. At 
this period, Rome, under the temporal govern* 
ment of the Popes, first engages our attention ; 
and if, during the period of which we have 



Digitized by 



Google 



198 THE JEWS IN ITALY. 

been speaking, the Jews at Some were not in 
a state of eminent prosperity, at least they 
were free from great persecutions. They lived, 
it is true, isolated in their ghettos, and neither 
their Rabbins nor their Talmud gained them 
any favour with the head of the Romish 
Church ; nevertheless, the Popes generally 
appeared kindly disposed towards them, both 
in their own temporal dominions, and in those 
of Roman Catholic Sovereigns. We have 
already said, that they stood forth more than 
once as protectors of the Israelites when 
menaced and ill-treated throughout Christen- 
dom. The Popes, however, did not all acj 
upon the same principles; Gregory I. (the 
Great), in the seventh century, proved himself 
the friend of Israel, both in his writings and 
decrees, because of the magnificent promises 
given to the Church of Christ in charge for 
the ancient people of God ; whence Gre- 
gory VII. (the famous Hildebrand), in the 
tenth century, was their enemy. 

In the other great towns of Italy, the posi- 
tion of the Jews varied ; but in general they 
met with favour, especially at Leghorn and 
Venice; to a less degree in Florence. At 
Genoa, on the contrary, they were looked upon 
with enmity. We hear hardly anything of 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN ITALY. 199 

the Jews in Italy before the tenth century ; in 
the twelfth they began to gain influence and 
importance by their wealth, owing mainly to 
their commercial enterprise, but also to bank- 
ing speculations, and sometimes (as in Ger- 
many and elsewhere) to their hateful usury. 
Nowhere, however, was there less reason for 
complaint on this score than in Italy, since 
Lombardy sent forth throughout Europe 
bankers who far exceeded the Jews, both in 
their cunning and their cupidity. Complaint 
was more than once made in that age, that 
where the Jews did not manage the financial 
operations, nsury was carried on to a more 
hateful excess by nominal Christians. It was 
even reported that the magnificent city of 
Florence owed much of her riches to this 
iniquitous source. Though the oppression 
suffered by the Jews in Italy was compara- 
tively moderate, yet hiere, as elsewhere, their 
unpopular practices brought upon them at 
times bursts of popular fury. Towards the 
ead of the fifteenth century^ Bemadino Tho- 
mitano, a monk, of Feltre, more out of hatred 
for their usury than their religious errors, 
stirred up the populace against them. It is to 
the indefatigable exertions of this monk we 
are indebted for the institution of loan banks 



Digitized by 



Google 



200 THE TEWS IN ITALT; 

(monte di Pieiu), a name which still brings td 
mind this Lombard origin. 

Persecutions of the Jews have taken place 
from time to time in the kingdom of Naples; 
where they settled about the year 1200. The 
Portuguese Jewish historian, Samuel Usque, 
speaks of one in particular about the middle 
of the eighteenth century, the result of which 
was, the compidsory baptism of a great num- 
ber of Jews, and the conversion of their syna^ 
gogue into a church dedicated to St. Catha^ 
rine. 

Jewish literature, theology, and Hebrew 
learning, prospered more in Italy than in 
France during the middle ages. Eleazar Beii 
Jacob Kalir was distinguished as a poet, and 
many interesting pieces of his composition 
have been preserved in the Jewish Liturgies 
of Rome and elsewhere. He is supposed to 
be a native of Cagliari, in Sardinia. In the 
eleventh century, when the Jews and their 
studies met with little consideration, Babbi 
Nathan Ben Jechiel presided over the Hebrew 
Academy at Rome, and undertook a work 
which has attained celebrity even among 
learned Christians of a much later date. His 
Lexicon of the Talmud, entitled, ^^ Aruch,'' has 
not only been highly extolled by Bartolocci, 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN ITALT, 201 

but evidently forms the groundwork of Box^ 
torf 's celebrated Chaldee, Talmudic, and Bab* 
binical Lexicon. 

In the thirteenth century, the era of revival 
for classical literature in Italy, Jewish science 
and poetry successfully developed itseIC 
Emmanuel Ben Salomo, bom at Borne in the 
beginning of this century, is looked upon as 
one of the greatest and most elegant poets of 
whom the Jewish nation, during their dis* 
persion, can boast. His ** Mechabberoth," or 
collection of poems, offers some specimens of 
amatory verse, a kind of poetry little in use 
among the Jews; and this, together with a 
certain lightness of manner in applying texts 
of Scripture to worldly subjects, has, perhaps, 
injured his reputation among his own country, 
men. Some have termed him the Voltaire of 
the Jews, but we think he does not deserve 
either the credit or the discredit of such a 
comparison. He has written, besides, many 
serious and even religious poems, as well as 
commentaries on the Pentateuch, the Book of 
Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, and other books of 
Scripture. 

To the following century belongs the foun* 
dation, at Bologna, of a school, since much 
celebrated, which owes its rise to the family of 
k3 



Digitized by 



Google 



202 THE JEWS IN ITALY. 

the Hannaarim, of Bologna. The same fiEimily 
also built, in that town, one of the finest syna^ 
gogues in Italy. In other respects, the four* 
teenth century does not offer many instances 
of literary reputation among the Italian Jews. 
In the fifteenth century, on the contrary, the 
studies of medicine and theology flourished 
among them. Elias Leyita, a Jewish philoso* 
pher and writer, who taught at Padua, stands, 
as it were, on the boundary between the 
middle ages and a new era in the history 
both of Israel and the Gentiles. It is not 
known with certainty, whether he was of Ger- 
man or Italian birth, but his works on the 
subject of the Masorah have gained for him 
the highest celebrity. At the end of the 
fifteenth, and beginning of the sixteenth cen* 
tury, a new element streamed, as it were, into 
the Jewish population of Italy, from Spain 
and Portugal. In what manner the relics of 
Jewish inhabitants, banished from the Penin* 
sula, established themselves both here and in 
other parts of Europe, transplanting at the 
same time the flourishing science and learning 
of their fathers, we shall relate in that portion 
of the history of Israel's dispersion which we 
have reserved for the third Book of this 
Sketch. 



Digitized by 



Google 



BOOK III. 



The name of Sephardim (Spaniards) is still 
borne by the descendants of those Jewish 
fstmilies who, after an interesting and even 
glorious sojourn of fourteen centuries, were 
irrevocably banished from Spain in 1492, and 
Portugal in 1497. 

As the whole Jewish people during their 
dispersion have preserved unchanged their 
national faith and character in the midst of 
the nations, so the Jews who emigrated from 
the Spanish Peninsula preserve their original 
identity amid their own brethren in all parts 
of the world. 

It is not a difference of fidth which dis- 
tinguishes them from the rest of the children 
of Jacob, but a diversity of historical remem- 
brances. 

We will now take into consideration the 
peculiar associations connected with their 
ancient residence in the Peninsula, which 
have been preserved among the Spanish Jews, 



Digitized by 



Google 



204 SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE JEWS. 

and which have caused the Sephardim to be 
considered, and to consider themselves, as the 
aristocracy of the dispersed people of Israel. 
One of these distinctions is their daily use of 
the language of the country of their formeir 
glorious exile, which has been handed down 
from generation to generation, in whatever 
part of the world they may have subsequently 
settled. To some of these Jews their own 
Scriptures are more familiar in the older 
Spanish than in the original Hebrew, and 
their descendants long wrote both prose and 
verse in Spanish, or Portuguese, while dwell- 
ing in Italy, the Netherlands, England, 
Africa, Constantinople, or even Jerusalem. 

Until the commencement of this century, 
the Sephardim used both these languages in 
their domestic life and daily intercourse; in 
the synagogue for all ceremonial arrange^ 
ments, and for every part of the worship not 
included in the Liturgy ; in their private cor- 
respondence, their commercial accounts, and 
the public announcement of marriages or 
deaths. Spain and Portugal were still to the 
exiled Israelites what France, in later times, 
^as to the Huguenots, when compelled to 
quit their country in the reign of Louis IV. 
To the Spanish Jew, the remembrance of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE JEWS* 205 

epoch passed by his ancestors in that Penih* 
sula is, to this hour, a terrible but imposing 
recollection, clouded by an impression of 
sombre grandeur. 

The relation which subsisted between the 
dispersed Israelites and the kingdom of Spais 
is unlike any we have yet recorded in the 
annals of '* Israel and the Gentiles." We 
may almost liken this remarkable and deeply 
interesting country to the spot of ground 
which Gideon's fleece distinguished from all 
the surrounding soiL The social position of 
the Jews, and their national prosperity and 
development in Spain and Portugal, differs 
entirely from every position in which we have 
viewed them in other countries of Christiaa 
Europe during the middle ages. Not that in 
this, their adopted country, the Jews com-» 
pletely escaped the anathema which has 
rested on their nation since its rejection of 
their Messiah. History here, as elsewhere, 
records persecution, oppression, and finally an 
entire banishment, and mentions the usual 
accusations, which were partly deserved and 
partly without foundation. But even the 
violence of this persecution and oppression 
bore a more noble character, and was of a less 
d^rading stamp than elsewhere. The Jewish 
history of this country presents phenomena 



Digitized by 



Google 



206 SPANISH AND PORTUGUESB JEWS. 

which we do not recognise as possible to have 
occurred in aay other part of the world. 

We will mention, first, the view taken by a 
modem writer deeply conversant with the 
internal constitution of this kingdom,* and of 
the peculiar position and destiny of the Jews 
in Spain during the period which proved most 
important to, and decisive of, the fate of 
Israel. 

'^This remarkable people, who seem to 
have preserved their unity of character un- 
broken amid the thousand fragments into 
which they have been scattered, attained, 
perhaps, to greater consideration in Spain 
than in any other part of Europe. Under the 
Visigothic Empire the Jews multiplied ex- 
ceedingly in the country, and were permitted 
to acquire considerable power and wealth. 
After the Saracenic invasion, which the Jews, 
perhaps with reason, are accused of having 
facilitated, they resided in the conquered 
cities, and were permitted to mingle with the 
Arabs on nearly equal terms. Their common 
Oriental origin produced a similarity of tastes, 
to a certain extent not unfavourable to such 

• Prescott's " History of the Reigns of Ferdinand and 
Isabella." Part L, chap. vii. 

Compare with Jost's ** Geschichte der IsraelUen/* vi., 
75,110,184,216,290, 



Digitized by 



Google 



gPAKlStt AND PORTUOUESE JEWS, 20*7 

ja coalition. At any rate, the early Spanish 
Arabs were characterized by a spirit of tolera- 
tion towards both Jews and Christians, — ^ the 
people of the book/ as they were called,—* 
which has scarcely been found among later 
Moslems. The Jews, accordingly, under these 
fevourable auspices, not only accumulated 
wealth with their usual diligence, but gra» 
dually rose to the highest civil dignity, and 
made great advances in various departments 
of letters. The schools of Cordova, Toledo, 
Barcelona, and Granada, were crowded with 
numerous disciples, who emulated the Ara^ 
bians in keeping alive the flame of learning 
during the deep darkness of the middle ages. 
Whatever may be thought of their success in 
speculative philosophy, they cannot reasonably 
be denied to have contributed largely to prac» 
tical and experimental science. They were 
diligent travellers in all parts of the known 
world, compiling itineraries which have proved 
of extensive use in later times, and bringing 
home hoards of foreign specimens and Oriental 
drugs that furnished important contributions 
to the domestic pharmacopoeia. In the prac- 
tice of medicine, indeed, they became so ex- 
pert as, in a manner, to monopolize that pro- 
fession. They made great proficiency in 



Digitized by 



Google 



208 JSPAmSH AND PORTUGUESE J£W». 

mathematics, and particularly in astronomy; 
while, in the cultivation of elegant letters, 
they revived the ancient glories of the Hebrew 
muse. This was indeed the golden age of 
modem Jewish literature. I'he ancient Cas* 
tilians of the same period, very diflferent from 
their Gothic ancestors, seem to have conceded 
to the Israelites somewhat of the feelings of 
respect which were extorted from them by the 
superior civilization of the Spanish Arabs; 
We find eminent Jews residing in the Courts 
of the Christian princes, directing their studies, 
attending them as physicians, or more fre« 
quently administering their finainces* 

" The new Christians^ or converts^ as those 
who had renounced the faith of their fathers 
were denominated, were occasionally preferred 
to high ecclesiastical dignity, which they illus^ 
trated by their integrity and learning." 

We will now proceed to exemplify the 
truth of these remarks, by entering into the 
requisite details concerning the position and 
labours of the Jews in Spain and Portugal 
during the period to which our attention is 
now directed. 

An interesting subject of inquiry naturally 
suggests itself as to the immediate cause of so 
great a difference between the position of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



ISRAEL AND THE WEST. 209 

Jews in this country, and in all other parts of 
Europe. 

From &cts considered individually as well 
as in connexion with one another, a correct 
answer to this inquiiy may easily he found. 
We will first notice two points, well calculated 
to throw light on the suhject, which are, the 
situation and natural formation of the country 
itself, and the very ancient period at which it 
was first colonized hy the Jews. 

Between Spain and Palestine there are 
many striking points of resemhlance.* It has 
been said with truth, that the Israelites in the 
land of their fathers were placed on the con* 
fines of the east and west. Palestine, by its 
geographical position, and the customs of its 
people, really belongs to the East ; yet Israel 
turned, as it were, the face towards the West; 
and bore many traits of European character. 
The same observations may be reversed with 
respect to Spain. By geographical position it 
belongs to Europe ; but the derivation of the 
greater part of its population is Asiatic. The 
language also has preserved for centuries a cer- 
tain mixture of the swelling style of Oriental 
imagery. This we find in the poetry of Lucan 
and Seneca, as well as in that of Lopedi Vega 
^ See Briim. Description de la Terre Sainte. 



Digitized by 



Google 



210 SPAIN AND THE EAST. 

and Ezcilla ; and even in quite modem times 
this flowery mode of expression may be traced 
even in the records made during the wars 
against Napoleon, and the struggle between 
the Carlists and Christinos. From very 
ancient times, many Oriental elements have 
mingled with the Celtiberian nucleus of the 
Spanish population. The PhGenician colonies 
were numerous long before Rome or Carthage 
sought the dominion of its shores. The 
Gh>ths, penetrating by the Pyrenees, brought 
to this country a mixture of northern blood ; 
but they were rather encamped than estab- 
lished here. Their kings did not style them- 
selves kings of Spain, but of the Goths in 
Spain. A little later, another Eastern people 
mixed itsdf with the population already de- 
rived from the same source ; for the Saracens, 
invading Europe, penetrated beyond the Py- 
renees, and finally established themselves tri- 
umphantly in the Peninsula, which was only 
reconquered by degrees by the Christian 
natives. 

One more Eastern nation occupied a place 
amidst the different races of Celts, Phoenicians, 
Saracens, and Moors. The arrival of the 
Jews, and the establishment of their colonies 
in the Peninsula, is carried back, both by 



Digitized by 



Google 



ANTIQUITY OP THE JEWS IN SPAIN. 211 

Jews and Christiaiis, to a period of great 
antiquity. Without enlarging on the hypo* 
thesis, that King Solomon possessed both 
colonies and jurisdiction in Spain (supposed to 
he the Tarshish of Scripture), tradition on 
every side agrees in fixing the establishment 
of Jews in this country at a date soon after 
the destruction of the first temple. This tra- 
dition, detailed and adorned by Spanish his- 
torians and Jewish Rabbins, informs us, that 
in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, in consequence 
of an imaginary expedition made by this prince 
into Spain, many £Etmilies of the tribe of Judah, 
and of the house of David, established them- 
selves in the country, and built cities, the 
names of which still recal localities and remi* 
niscences of Palestine.* 

Church legends of the Soman Catholics in 
Spain and Portugal declare, that the Apostle 
St James (St. Jago di Compostella, accor^ng 
to their tradition) preached the Gospel with 

* We may add to those named in Book L, p. 40, 
the following names of persons and places, in whidx the 
relation between the Hebrew and the Spanish is most 
apparent: — Yepes, (Joppa). Tavora, (Tabor). Ayila, 
(Abila). Gaona, (Gaon). Correa, (Core). Zacuto, 
(Zachut). Also Heneses, Calatajud, Geremias, Salema, 
Corid, Bazan, and many others. 



Digitized by 



Google 



212 ANTIQUITY OF THE 

many signs and miracles in this country, and 
converted great numbers of the descendants of 
these Israelitish colonists, who formed the 
body of the first Christian Church established 
in the Peninsula, of which the Archbishop of 
Braga was Primate. 

The same traditions inform us, that the 
Jews themselves presented to King Alphonso 
VL, of Leon (and I. of Castile), when he con- 
quered Toledo in the year 1806, the copy of a 
letter* written by their ancestors in that town 
to the High Priests and Scribes at Jerusalem, 
dissuading them from the murder of the 
Prophet of Nazareth, This letter, of which both 
the language and contents sufficiently prove 
the want of authenticity, has since been de- 
posited in the archives of Toledo. Copies of 
it have often been published, both in Latin 
and Spanish. Some have imagined that the 
Epistle to the Hebrews was written especially 
to the Jews of Zamora. 

In the more enlightened views now taken 
of history, such tales would doubtless be 
banished to the regions of fiible. And yet, 
circumstances which have been preserved in 

* This letter may be read in Spanish and Latin in 
Wolf's "Bibliotheca iRabbinica," and in Spanish in 
Southej's notes to his <* Boderick, the Last of the Goths.** 



Digitized by 



Google 



JEWS IN SPAIK. 213 

the legendary lore of nations, though clothed 
with fable and exaggeration, are not, on that 
account alone, to be rejected as imaginary or 
untrue* We may prove that the form in 
which they appear is that of fiction and rof 
mance, without asserting as a consequence, 
that the facts themselves are equally unworthy 
of credit. The groundwork in the present 
instance is, the simple &tct that the Jews were 
settled in Spain long before the destruction of 
the second temple; and this many circum* 
stances prove. . We may mention, among 
others, the coincidence in name of several 
places in Spain with those of Palestine, a 
coincidence which no hypothesis of a Fhoe* 
nician or Arabic derivation could account for* 
Another circumstance which helps to fix the 
date of their settlement at a period previous to 
the Christian era is, that the names of Philip, 
Alexander, Mark, &c., though in general use 
among the Jews of all parts of the world, were 
never borne as their Jewish appellations by 
those of Spain and Portugal. These names 
were first introduced into Palestine when that 
country was under the dominion of the Greeks 
and Komans. If, then, they are not to be met 
with among the Sephardim, may we not na- 
turally conclude that their ancestors were at 



Digitized by 



Google 



214 ANTIQUITY OF THE 

that time already established in Spain I We 
may consider the existence of synagogues in 
Spain more than probable, when calling to 
mind the passage in the Epistle to the Bo« 
mans, in which St Paul announces his inten- 
tion of Tisiting Spain also (Bom. xv. 24 — 28.) 
We know it was generally the practice of the 
Apostle to the Gentiles, to make use of the 
synagogue as his means of communication, 
and thus to act upon the principle he so often 
inculcates, of preaching the Gospel to the Jew 
Jirst^ and also to the Gentile. We may add 
another circumstance, mentioned by Jose- 
phus,* as bearing upon this point. He says 
that Herod Antipas was banished, by order of 
the Emperor, to Spain. The Emperor Adrian 
also, afttt quelling the revolt of Bar Cochab, 
permitted the Jews who had escaped, or were 
made prisoners, to establish themselves in 
Spain. 

The result of these various traditions seems 
to prove, that the Jews were already estab- 
lished in the Peninsula before the time of the 
Roman Emperors ; whether they arrived there 
by way of Alexandria and Cyrene, or at once 
from Palestine, and the more distant parts of 
Asia. It is interesting to notice the claim 
* Joseph, de BelL Jud., ii. 9^ sec. 6. 



Digitized by 



Google 



JEWS IN SPAIK« 215 

made by this portion of the dispersed of Judah 
to belong to the house of Dayid. It is 
endent that this claim cannot be supported by 
any historical document; for the Israelites, 
formerly the pec^le of genealogies par exeeh 
lence^ have not, since their dispersion, con- 
tinued their genealogical tables. The pre* 
tensions, therefore, of these different families, 
whether in Babylon or in Spain, can only be 
looked upon as traditionary. But we are 
wrong in supposing such a pretension inoom* 
patible with the Gospel, — as if the accom- 
plishment of prophecy concerning the Son of 
David necessarily involved an extinction of all 
other members of that ancient and regal 
family. On the contrary, as the Jewish nation 
has not ceased to eidst, since from them the 
Saviour of the world came forth in the flesh, 
so is it more than probable that since the 
birth of the blessed *^Root of Jesse," this 
house, like the whole nation, has been &r 
rather preserved for a future period of con- 
version and glory in the fulness df time. 
The prophecies of the Old Testament mani- 
festly allude to this. In the great day of 
Israel's humiliation, before their King crucified 
and glorified, the house of David is mentioned 
among the families that will on that day 



Digitized by 



Google 



218 LATSB COUNCILS AND LAWS 

Until that time, the Visigoths in Spain had, 
like the Ostrogoths in Italy, shown &voar 
to the Jews. From henceforth the Romish 
clergy and the Gothic kings seemed to vie 
with each other in multiplying edicts and 
laws against the Jews, laws which have been 
rightly designated as barbaroud and absurd. 
Like the edicts of Justinian in the East, they 
excluded "the abominable sect" from all 
power or jurisdiction over Christians; pro- 
hibited their marriage with Christians, and 
the celebration of their weddings, sabbaths, 
and feasts, especially the Passover. Baptism 
was forcibly administered, and compulsion 
was used to make them eat pork. A fitting 
prelude this to the system of the Inquisition, 
established eight centuries later in the same 
country! Yet, under the Roman Catholic 
kings of the Visigoths, as in later times under 
Ferdinand and Isabella, dislike was manifested 
to the religion, but not, as elsewhere, to the 
person of the Jew. An Israelite sincerely 
converted to Christianity was, according to the 
same laws of the Visigoths, recognised as a 
noble, and endowed with many privileges.* 

* Judaei, qui sincero animo Christiana sacra amplec- 
terentur nobilitate atqne vectigalium immunitate donati. 
«-<< Manana de Bebus Hispanias." vi. 18. The effect of 



Digitized by 



Google 



CONCERNING THE JEWS IN SPAIN. 219 

The severity of the laws against Jews who 
were either unbaptized or baptized by force 
was so great as entirely to prevent their being 
put in force. Hence the continual repetition 
of laws and enactments, the total inefficacy of 
which soon became apparent. Those of the 
seventh century offer an unparalleled specimen 
of cruelty and instability. In the reign of 
Sisebert (612 — 617) the Jews are commanded, 
on pain of banishment, to embrace Christianity. 
Under Sisenard, the fourth Council of Toledo 
in the year 631 mitigated these measures of 
compulsion, without rescinding any of the 
penalties which had been previously enacted. 
Chintilla, in 636, exiled the Jews, as Sisebert 
had done; but they still remained in great 
numbers under Wamba (672). In 680, 
Erwig persecuted them ; Egiza banished them 
upon the accusation of having entered into 
league with the Saracens of Africa. Witiza 
(in 700) recalled them, and loaded them with 
favours. A violent civil war, in which Witiza 

thifl law is noticed^ in Jke ye&r 1404, by the same histo- 
rian (Bk. xix. 12). Compare with Fra. Juan Benite 
Guardiola, in his ^' Tratado de la Nobleza de Espana :" — 
" Los convertidos a nuestra santa f^ Catolica, que eran 
antes nobles segun su ley o setta, ritienen la nobleza de 
su linage, y no solo la ritienen mas aiin la acrecientan. 
L 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



220 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

lost both his crown and his life, raised Rodrigo 
to the throne. With him, in the year 711, 
after the famous battle of Xeres de la Frontera, 
terminated the whole Gothic dominion, thus 
making way for the complete triumph of the 
Saracens over the Peninsula. 

The Jews were suspected of having favoured 
and assisted the Arabs in their conquest of 
Spain. After all they had suffered in the pre- 
ceding century from the kings of the Visi- 
goths and the Roman Catholic clergy, neither 
the suspicion nor the reality of such a co- 
operation between Israel and Ishmael could 
excite any feeling of astonishment. It is, on 
the contrary, more than probable, judging 
from what took place in the reign of Egiza, 
the invasion and establishment of the Saracens 
was, in many respects, a desirable event to the 
Jews of Spain, and the general influence of 
their dominion important in its results, not 
only to Spain itself^ but also as it affected the 
whole of Christian Europe. 

The Ommiada Califs, in the south of Spain, 
soon rivalled in splendour their adversaries, 
the Abassides, who had succeeded them in 
Asia. The history of those times abounds in 
descriptions of the magnificence and prosperity 
attained by the Arabian powers in the Peninsula, 



Digitized by 



Google 



UNDER THE ARABS. 221 

especially in the reign of Abderahman III, 
(912—961.) In the neighbourhood of the 
Guadalquiver alone, no less than twelve thou- 
sand towns, villages, hamlets, and castles 
might, it is said, be counted. Cordova, the 
Arabian metropolis, is reported to have con- 
tained two hundred thousand houses, six hun- 
dred mosques, fifty hospitals, eighty public 
academies, and nine hundred baths. Manu- 
&ctures and every kind of industrial trade 
flourished; while art and science were culti- 
vated and protected by its liberal and noble- 
minded princes. The Jews shared largely in 
the splendour and prosperity of the Arabs. 
They soon wrote and spoke in Arabic as well 
as Hebrew, and are to this day looked upon 
by the Christians of Spain and Portugal as 
their first masters in every department of 
science. To them in particular may be ap- 
plied the saying, "That there were no dark 
ages for Israel.", 

In a political point of view, the dominion of 
the Arabs in Spain was neither oppressive nor 
injurious. The disciples of the Koran looked 
with equal contempt upon the religion of the 
Christian and the Jew; but to persecute for 
religion's sake was not in accordance with the 
principles of Islamism when its dominion was 



Digitized by 



Google 



222 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

once firmly established in the country. The 
Jews rarely suffered oppression from their 
Arabic conquerors, yet we may mention a few 
circumstances in which a contrary spirit was 
manifested. For example, when, in the year 
1064, Joseph, the son of Samuel Hallevi, was 
suspected of endeavouring to propagate the 
religion of Moses among the Moslim, and was 
in consequence put to death at Granada, with 
some hundreds of his coreligionists. And 
again, in 1160, when the new dynasty of the 
^mohades from Africa sought afresh to im- 
pose Islamism by force upon the Christian 
and Jewish portions of the population. These 
and a few similar instances of persecution 
were, however, but temporary, and confined to 
peculiar localities. On the other hand, from 
the commencement of the Saracen rule in 
Spain, the Jews often gained access to the 
Mahometan princes, and obtained their favour. 
Thus the King, Abderahman, of whom we 
have spoken, had entertained honourably at 
his court Eabbi Chasdai Ben Isaac, the son of 
Kabbi Isaac Ben Chasdai, one of the most 
ancient Hebrew poets of Spain. Al Hakem 
(975) protected the Jews and their learned 
men, placed their principal works in his 
library, and had the Talmud (or more likely 



Digitized by 



Google 



UNDER THE ARABS. 223 

a part of it) translated into Arabic. The 
same favour towards science and literature in 
general was displayed by the renowned warrior 
and statesman, Al Manzor Mohammed Ben 
Abi Amer, at Cordova, about the end of the 
tenth and beginning of the eleventh century. 
The Jews in the Arabic provinces were rarely 
bankers, but merchants, trading on a large 
scale to different parts of the East. They 
acted as treasurers to the Califs, but more 
frequently as physicians, philosophers, poets, 
theologians ; in a word, as savans and men of 
letters. 

The history of the Jews in the Christian 
states of the Peninsula presents us with a 
view of less peaceful times, but with details of 
still greater interest The Jewish inhabitants 
of the southern part of Spain emigrated in 
great numbers to Castile in the eleventh and 
twelfth centuries. They must, therefore, have 
expected to meet with a favourable reception 
in that province. Henceforward their syna- 
gogues and schools increased in number and 
importance, and their services became indis- 
pensable to agriculture and manufactures. 
Commerce was so entirely in their hands, that 
even under Charles V., their descendants, well 
known, though concealed under the appella* 



Digitized by 



Google 



224: THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

tion of new Christians, still conducted with 
honour all the traffic carried on in the king- 
dom of Spain. They filled places of trust and 
importance at Court It is true, that here 
also they belonged immediately and exclu- 
sively to the King, much in the same way as 
the Jews of Germany did to the Emperor; 
but how diflferently was this power exerted! 
A capitation tax was paid by the numerous 
synagogues, and presents were made to the 
Infant, the nobility, or the Church ; while in 
every other respect the Jews lived like a 
separate nation, framing and executing their 
own civil and criminal jurisdiction. 

As formerly in the East by the Besh 
Glutha, so were they now governed by the 
Eabbino mayor, an Israelite, usually in favour 
at Court, and appointed by the King. This 
Jewish magistrate exercised his right in the 
King*s name, and sealed his decrees, which 
the King alone could annul with the Royal 
arms. He made journeys through the country 
to take cognisance of all Jewish affairs, and 
inquire into the disposal of the revenues of 
the different synagogues. He had under 
him a Vice Eabbino mayor, a chancellor, a 
secretary, and several other officers. Two 
different orders of Rabbins, or judges, acted 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHEISTIAN8. 225 

under him in the towns and districts of the 
kingdom. This order held good also in 
Portugal, which, as well as Castile, had its 
own prince of the captivity. The title of 
Don, confined during the middle ages to the 
nobility of rank in Spain, was also applied to 
distinguished Jews, not only by their own 
nation, but in public acts and Government 
documents, as we find by the ancient chro- 
nicles. Every kind of oflfice was open to 
them, and they often served in the army. Of 
this, a memorable instance is preserved in the 
Arabic documents from which Don Jose An* 
tonio Conde composed his " History of the 
Saracen dominion in Spain. " ♦ King Alphonso 
VI. (a.d. 1086) is said to have written a 
letter to King Yuzef, chief of the Almora* 
rides, in which he fixed on the following 
Monday as the day for the battle of Talaca, 
because Friday would not suit the Maho- 
metans, Sunday the Christians, or Saturday 
the Jews, of whom there were many in his 
army. Jewish records mention, besides, a 
member of the celebrated family of the Ya- 
diias, in command of the Portuguese army in 
the twelfth century. It is more than probable 

* See "Historia de la Dominacion de los Ai*abes en 
Espana." Madrid, 1820. Lib. ii. pp. 136, 137. 
L 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



226 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

also, that the Treasurer of Queen Isabella, 
whom the Cardinal Mendoza, himself a great 
warrior and statesman, presented to her 
Majesty as the Judas Maccabeus of his 
kingdom, on account of the extraordinary 
valour displayed by him at the siege of 
Malaga, was an Israelite at least by birth.* 

To counterbalance all these distinctions and 
privileges, persecution and oppression of the 
Jews, * as we have before observed, arose in 
moife than one quarter. While the King, the 
great vassals of the Crown, and dignitaries of 
the Church, either from self-interest or mofk 
praiseworthy motives, protected and upheld 
the Jews, that class of free burghers which 
was represented in the Cortes, the inferior 
clergy, and especially the common people 
when stirred up by the religious orders, were 
their inveterate enemies. It is well known 
that the establishment of the Inquisition, and, 
soon after, the entire expulsion of the Jews, 
was effected by the hatred of the Dominicans. 
Complaint was sometimes made before the 
Cortes, and not without reason, of usury prac- 
tised by the lower order of Jews, and of abuse 
of power by those of higher rank. More 
often, however, their wealth and influence, 

* Zurita, Anales de Aragon. Lib. xz., c. 70. 1487. 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHRISTIANS. 227 

the fruits of their skill and experience in 
matters of state and finance, excited the envy 
of the populace. This feeling of envy mani- 
fested itself first by the usual accusations of 
sacrilege and the murder of Christian chil- 
dren, but soon broke out into open rage and 
acts of violence. Amid the general prosperity 
of the Jewish nation during these centuries, 
the annals of different Christian kingdoms in 
the Peninsula are, nevertheless, stained by the 
relation of horrible cruelties practised at first 
on the unbaptized Jews, and afterwards on the 
new Christians. In 1212, a general massacre 
of the Jews took place at Toledo, while a mul- 
titude of foreign knights and soldiers were 
assembled in that town preparatory to a cam- 
paign against the Moors, which they thus 
intended to enter on, as they had previously 
done in Germany, before commencing their 
crusades in the East. Twelve thousand Jews 
were threatened with murder and pillage by 
these foreign legions, as the secret allies of 
the Saracens, or, at all events, enemies to 
Christianity. Through the intervention of 
Alphonso IX., sumamed the Good and the 
Noble,* the design fell to the ground, after 

* There is sometimes a little variation between dif- 
ferent authors in the nnmbers of the kings of this name* 



Digitized by 



Google 



228 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

some sanguinary skirmishes had taken place 
between the inhabitants of the town and the 
foreigners. 

The Councils of the Church strove by sue* 
cessive decrees to lessen the influence of the 
Jews in the Peninsula. In the year 1313, the 
Council of Zamora, in Leon, vehemently de- 
manded the revival and enforcement of the 
ancient ecclesiastical laws against the Jews, 
which consisted in revoking their privileges; 
excluding them from all public employment; 
prohibiting all familiar intercourse between 
Jews and Christians ; rejecting all Jewish 
testimony against a Christian in a court of 
justice ; prohibiting the Jews from having 
Christian servants; forbidding their appear- 
ance in public during the holy week ; obliging 
them to wear a distinctive mark upon their 
garments ; and excluding them from the prac- 
tice of medicine* Moreover, tithes were 

Here we speak of Alphonso IX., King of Castile, father 
of Henry I., who was succeeded by his cousin, Ferdi- 
nand nL The father of Ferdinand m. was also 
Alphonso IX., but of Leon. Alphonso of Castile Is 
sometimes reckoned as the Eighth instead of the Ninth ; 
while Alphonso the Wise, commonly called the Tenth, is 
sometimes styled the Eleyenth ; and the father of Peter 
the Cruel, usually the Eleventh, is then called the 
Twelfth. 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHRISTIANS. 229 

imposed on their landed property ; their mag* 
nificent synagogues stripped of their pomp and 
adornments; and they were also prohibited 
from taking interest. AU these decrees, how« 
ever, proved fruitless. They only served to 
show, even as late as the fourteenth century, the 
small degree of power possessed by the clergy, 
and the great influence exercised by the Jews. 
A remonstrance, urged by the Cortes (in 1213), 
against the election of Jews to public offices 
was attended with rather more success, but 
for a very brief period. A similar attempt 
made by the Cortes of Madrid, in 1309, 
fell entirely to the ground. Those of Burgos 
decreed (probably with no better success), that 
neither the nobility, the clergy, nor the Jews, 
should henceforth be employed as receivers of 
the taxes. 

The kings of Castile and Arragon, with 
very few exceptions, eminently befriended the 
Jews during the four centuries which elapsed 
between the reign of Ferdinand I. and the 
Catholic Sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella. 
Ferdinand I., the first of the race, was almost 
the only one who showed enmity to the Jewish 
people. He took the opportunity of an expe- 
dition set on foot by the Saracen king of 
Seville, Abul Cassem £bn Abud, surnamed 



Digitized by 



Google 



230 THB JEWS IK SPAIN 

Almotabad. The King of Castile began the 
war in the year 1062, not long before his 
death, and peace was soon re-established with 
the Mahomedans. The plan he had pursued, 
however, was, first to pillage and murder the 
Jewish population, intending these outrages 
either as a propitiatory commencement of a 
war with the Infidels, to gain treasure where- 
with to carry it on, or to wreak his vengeance 
for ill-will manifested to the Christians by the 
Jew, Rabbi Isaac Ben Baruch Ben Alkalia, of 
Cordova, who occupied a distinguished post at 
the Court of the King of Seville. This perse- 
cution was marked by a peculiar incident ; for 
on this occasion the clergy took the Jews 
under their protection, and their conduct in so 
doing was applauded by a special brief from 
the Pope Alexander II. 

Matters took quite a different turn in the 
following reign ; for Alphonso VI. (who con- 
quered Toledo from the Saracens) granted 
many Taluable privileges to the Jews ; among 
others, that of eligibility to the officia nobilia^ 
in spite of the remonstrances of Pope Gre- 
gory VII. The same kindly feelings towards 
that people prevailed without intermission in 
the kings who reigned over Castile and Leon 
during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHRISTIANS. 231 

Alphonso IX., of Castile (a.d. 1158—1214), 
sumamed, on account of his valour and other 
excellences, the Good and the Noble, showed 
them still greater favour, because of his love 
for the fair Bachael. a damsel of that nation, 
who was at last slain by several knights, who 
conspired together to put her to death 
(a.d. 1196). Ferdinand II. (of Castile, and 
in. of Leon after 1250) sumamed, like his 
nephew, Louis of France, the " Saint," is cele- 
brated in the history both of the Christian 
Church and the Spanish kingdoms, for the 
recovery of Cordova and Seville from the 
Mahomedans, in the years 1236 and 1248. 

Very different, however, was his treatment 
of the Jews from that of the French King 
who bore the same epithet. After the con- 
quest of Seville, the Castilian prince granted 
them many fiivours, and large possessions in 
land.* No king had ever before bestowed on 

* In 1797, a member of the Royal Academy of His- 
tory at Madrid, presented to that learned body some 
remarks on the ancient synagogues of Seville, and 
especially two waxen impressions from seals— one round, 
the other square, bearing the arms of Castile. One bore 
round the edge this inscription : ** The holy assembly of 
the synagogue of Seville, which may God preserve, its 
stronghold and Redeemer." The other bore simply the 



Digitized by 



Google 



232 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

the Jews in his kingdom such high distinction, 
or availed himself so much of their talents, 
as Alphonso X., sumamed *^ the Wise/' and 
"the Astronomer," the son of Ferdinand 
(a.d. 1262—1284). This prince has been 
sometimes unjustly reproached for devoting 
more of bis time to study than to the affairs of his 
kingdom ; but several victories, gained either 
by himself or during his reign over the Ma- 
homedans, and his labours in time of peace 
for the prosperity and well-being of his 
country, entirely acquit him of the charge. 
To him the nation is indebted for a collection 
of laws in the vernacular tongue, known by 
the name of ^^ Las partidas." He took great 
pains to introduce the Spanish language, 
instead of Latin, into all the public acts. 
The early efforts of Spanish national literature 
owe much to this prince, who took great 
pains to improve the language of his country : 
for this purpose, he caused some of the writ- 
ings of ancient authors to be translated into 
Spanish; such as Gcero, Virgil, Ovid, and 
the works of Boetius and Prudentius. With 
the same view, and also a desire of promoting 
healthful civilization among his people, he 

names of "Todras and Levi, son of Samuel and Levi, 
wliose soul rests in paradise, son of Israel Levi." 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHBI8TIANS. 233 

formed a plan for translating the Bible into 
the language of Castile, and the Old Testa* 
ment. Learned Jews, selected by the King, 
were appointed to perform the task. His 
version, with the addition of a few corrections 
and changes, is considered to be the same as 
that printed in 1533 by the Jews in Italy, 
which has since been known and celebrated as 
the Bible of Ferrara. At all events, it is 
quite certain that the old version was closely 
followed by later translators. 

The services of learned Jews were equally 
in request to assist the seientific labours of 
the King in mathematics and astronomy. 
Rabbi Isaac Ben Lid, Precentor of the syna- 
gogue, Rabbi Samuel, and his brother Rabbi 
Jehuda Bar Moses Haccohen, with Rabbi 
Zag, all natives or inhabitants of Toledo, 
wrote several interesting works, giving a view 
of the progress then made in astrology, the 
use of the astrolabe, and mineralogy. Some 
of these were translations from the Arabic of 
Ali Aben Ragel, Avicenna, Averroes, and 
others, and written either in Spanish or Latin. 
These learned men, with several other Jews, 
Arabs, and even Christians, to the number of 
fifty, were chosen by the King as his assistants 
in the composition of an astronomical work, 



Digitized by 



Google 



234 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

known by the name of " TabuUe AlfonsintB^'^ 
which he achieved at a great expense, by his 
own personal co-operation, as a monument of 
the very peculiar interest he felt in this 
science. 

Under Sancho IV., sumamed " the Brave" 
(1284—1291), and Ferdinand IV. (1291— 
1312), the successors of Alphonso IV., the 
position of the Jews in their dominions re- 
mained unchanged. 

In the archives of the Cathedral at Toledo, 
a document has been found containing the 
amount of the contributions paid by the Jewish 
synagogues to the Treasury, as they were ar- 
ranged and portioned out in the reign of the 
former of these princes. 

The whole amounted to 2,100,000 ancient 
maravedis,* a sum equal to about 10,000 
marks of gold. This was contributed by 
about 80,000 Israelitish inhabitants, dispersed 
in the seventy towns and other localities of 
Castile. 

It is calculated that an equal number of 
Israelites inhabited the kingdom of Arragon ; 
and consequently, the whole Jewish popula- 
tion of the Peninsula may be reckoned at 

* The ancient Spanish maravedi was equal to seven- 
teen modem maravedis. 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHRISTIANS. 235 

more than half a million of souls. The cities 
in which they were most numerous and 
flourishing were in the south, under the 
dominion of the Arabs, and both before and 
after their time, Seville, Cordova, and Gre- 
nada. In old and new Castile ; Toledo, 
Burgos, Guadalaxam, Segovia, Avila, Leon, 
Palencia, Zamora, VaUadolid, Calatrava, Jaen. 
In Arragon and Catalonia ; Saragossa, Cala- 
tayud, Huesca, Tarragona, Barbastro, Barce- 
lona, Girona, Lerida, Tortosa. In Portugal ; 
Lisbon, Santarem, Viseu, Covilhao, Porto, 
Evora, Faro. In all these different parts of 
the country, marked as the special residences 
of the Israelites, the Jews were to be found 
during the middle ages, occupying the position 
of the highest rank in society. Long after 
their exile from this their adopted country^ 
their customs, ceremonies, and manner of life 
bore the same stamp, and thereby excited the 
envy of the multitude, as well as the astonish- 
ment of historians. 

The prosperity of the Jews in Castile and 
the influence of their nobles reached its 
greatest height in the reigns of Alphonso XI. 
(1312—1360), and his son, Peter the Cruel 
(1350—1369). 

In the counsels and friendship of Alphonso, 



Digitized by 



Google 



236 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

his physicians, Don Samuel Ahenhacar, Don 
Samuel Benjaes, and Rahhi Moses Ahudiel, 
held a permanent and distinguished place. 
The historians and chroniclers of the Spanish 
kings, as well as Jewish authors, mention a 
certain Don Joseph, called Almoxarife, or 
" the Treasurer,*' who, with Osorio, the Count 
de Transtamare, long possessed the King^s 
unlimited favour ; he subsequently partici- 
pated in the fall of this favourite, being dis- 
missed from office in 1329, at the request of 
the Cortes. The King was at the same time 
compelled to promise that he would no longer 
employ any Jew as a Minister of the State, 
It appears, he either found some difficulty in 
supplying their place, or met with none who 
could serve him better, as Don Joseph, some 
years after, was reinstated in the ministry. 

Don Pedro, the successor of Alphonso, sur- 
passed his father in the characteristic cruelty 
for which they are both noted in history, and 
which gave to the former his surname among 
the Kings of Leon and Castile. This King 
also showed the Jews much fevour, though he 
ill requited Don Samuel el Levi for the £aith- 
ful services he had rendered as a statesman. 
The ancient Spanish chronicle of King Pedro's 
reign gives an account of his services that 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHRISTIANS. 237 

does honour to the sagacity of the Israelitish 
Minister of Finance ; relating in a simple 
style how he enriched the Royal treasury at 
the expense of the avaricious and dishonest 
tax-gatherers, compelling them hy severe 
measures to give in their accounts and make 
good their receipts. Without proof given of 
any mal-administration or crime whatever, the 
Israelitish minister of Don Pedro shared the 
fate of many other favourites, and even near 
relations to the King. He was condemned 
to the torture, under which he expired in 
1360. It appears that his disgrace did not 
extend further than to his numerous family, 
distinguished also for their immense wealth. 
We find, too, other Israelites mentioned at 
the same time as in high esteem at Court 
during this reign, — Don Samuel Ahen Alha- 
doc, and Don Samuel, son of Don Meir Aben 
Maza, the head of the synagogue. 

A Hebrew inscription of the year 1366, 
when the edifice was built and consecrated as 
a synagogue, is even now in great part legible 
in the Church of Nuestro Senore del Tansito, 
at Toledo. It celebrates one of these three 
Samuels, praising him as a man fitted '^ for 
war or for peace," and mentioning his services 
in behalf of the Jewish nation. This Samuel 



Digitized by 



Google 



238 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

could not be the famous Treasurer of Don 
Pedro ; for he was put to death by that 
prince about seven years before the date of 
the inscription in the synagogue. It is there- 
fore conjectured, that this memorial is raised 
to Don Samuel, the son of Don Meir. The 
date of the inscription, expressed in the He« 
brew manner by letters, marks the seventh 
year of the reign of Don Pedro, to whom, 
perhaps at that very period, the Jews had 
given a remarkable proof of their fidelity, if, 
as many think. Prince Henry de Transtamare, 
who had raised the standard of revolt against 
the King, was then endeavouring lo gain pos- 
session of Toledo. The fidelity of the Jewish 
population was eminently displayed towards 
the cruel but legitimate King of Castile, by 
the bravery with which the Jews of Burgos 
defended both the town and their own quarter 
against the rebels. Very soon after, the King 
died, and in him the direct line of the Bur- 
gundian dynasty of Leon and Castile came to 
an end. With his brother. Prince Henry, 
began an illegitimate dynasty from the same 
house, of which Queen Isabella was the last 
who succeeded to the throne. 

From the unanimous testimony of the chro- 
nicles of the Church and of their own writers, 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHRISTIANS. 239 

we learn how large a share of influence, 
wealth, and consideration was at that time 
possessed by the Jews in Spain. Jewish 
historians attached such high importance to 
these privileges, that they applied to this age 
the prophecy of Jacob, " The sceptre shall not 
depart from Judah until Shiloh come." By 
Christians great complaint was made, that the 
very prosperous, and, in a worldly sense, 
glorious position of the Jews, was (I quote the 
words of the venerable Paul, Bishop of Burgos, 
himself an Israelite by birth) ''not only an 
offence, but a great peril for simple believers, 
ever ready to imitate the errors of their 
superiors." * 

All this grandeur and these privileges were, 
nevertheless, not unfrequently accompanied by 
violent acts on the part of the populace, and 
complaints and protestations from the Councils 
and the Cortes. To satisfy their clamours, it 
was sometimes needful to promulgate afresh 
ancient decrees which had almost fallen into 
oblivion, — such as the limitation of Jewish 
places of abode to a peculiar quarter, the obli- 
gation to wear a distinctive mark, and ex- 
clusion from posts of dignity and public offices. 
* Panli Bargensis Scrutiniam Scripturarum. 



Digitized by 



Google 



240 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

The more unlimited and severe the enactment, 
however, the less chance there was of its heing 
actually put in force. Sometimes, at the insti- 
gation of the political or ecclesiastical body, a 
reprimand was issued to the Jews by those 
kings who themselves regarded them with the 
greatest favour. Thus King Alphonso X. re- 
proved them for the exorbitant luxury of their 
habits, and Alphonso XI. forbade Christians 
attending their festivals. 

The opposition and remonstrances of the 
Cortes and Councils against the influence of 
the Jews, and the abuses which it occasioned, 
made more impression on the kings of the dy- 
nasty of Transtamare. Henry de Transtamare^ 
however, (the second of that name,) although 
the Jews opposed the revolt made in his favour 
in the reign of his brother, Pedro, seems to 
have paid little attention to the complaints 
made against them by the Cortes of Burgos. 
When this assembly, one day, enjoined him to 
dismiss all Jews from office about his person, 
either as physicians or ministers, asserting that 
their presence at Court caused trouble and civil 
dissensions, the new King answered, that " he 
himself knew what was the wisest course to 
take in that matter." Whereupon he con- 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHBI8TIAN8, 241 

firmed the privileges granted to the Jews hy 
his father, Alphonso XI., and availed himself 
equally of their talents and services. 

More perilous times menaced the Jews of 
Castile and the rest of Spain under John I. 
(1379—1390.) The Cortes assembled at Valla- 
dolid, Soria, and Burgos passed resolutions 
tending to deprive the Jews of all participation 
in the government of the State, or the manage- 
ment of its finances; but the King, asserting 
Ms own immediate and exclusive rights over this 
people, continued to grant them his protection. 

In consequence of a singular circumstance, 
however, their synagogue was deprived of the 
right of jurisdiction it had hitherto enjoyed. 
The chronicler of King John I. relates that 
some Jews, who considered themselves ag- 
grieved by one of their own persuasion at 
Court, named Don Joseph Fichon, contrived to 
obtain a royal mandate, granting them the 
services of an alguazil to execute a sentence of 
death. As the King of Castile, according to 
existing customs, had often granted such 
mandates for the execution of sentences passed 
by the Jewish tribunal, he made no diffi- 
culty in signing the document thus pre- 
sented, quite ignorant that it was intended for 
Pichon, one of the most devoted, ministers 

M 



Digitized by 



Google 



242 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

of the King, his father. The sentence of the 
Jewish magistrates was effectually executed by 
the alguazU of the King at Seville. When the 
King heard what had taken place, he instituted 
an inquiry, — put to death all who had been 
either directly or indirectly concerned in this 
matter, — and deprived the Jews of the juris- 
diction they had hitherto possessed. 

Under Henry III. the Jews, as before, held 
offices of State; and one in particular, Don 
Meir, physician to the King, was high in 
honour and trust; yet, in the same reign, 
especially during the minority of the King, 
several violent outbreaks and bloody perse- 
cutions were raised against the Jewish inha- 
bitants of different cities. At Seville the arch- 
bishop in person stirred up the populace by a 
sermon to fall upon the Jews, and the tumult 
was with difficulty quelled by the severe 
measures of the civil and military authorities. 
In the year following, 1391, these disturbances 
were repeated, and the Jewish quarter attacked 
and burnt to ashes. This fearful example 
spread, as by contagion, to the towns of 
Cordova, Madrid, Toledo, over the whole of 
Catalonia, and even to the Isle of Majorca, 
where John I. of Arragon caused its leaders to 
be severely punished. The number of Jews 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHBI8TIAN8. 243 

said to have lost their life is estimated at 
ten thousand, and the places in which the 
outbreak occurred are numbered at seventy; 
Many fled to Africa to escape persecution, 
among whom was the Rabbi Bar Zemach, of 
Oran, celebrated for his learned writings, and 
his elegies on the events of that period. Others 
in the terror of the moment went over to the 
Bomish Church. 

The first years of the reign of John II., who 
succeeded his father while yet a child (1406), 
were unfavourable to the Jews. A royal man- 
date, dated Yalladolid, 1412, in a series of 
twenty-four articles, contained the most oppres- 
sive enactments which had ever been promul- 
gated against them since the time of the later 
Visigothic kings. The Jews, and also the Moors, 
were thenceforth to confine themselves to a 
separate quarter on pain of death, — not to con- 
verse with Christians, or to have Christians 
in their service, — not to practise as physicians 
or apothecaries, — ^not to be high treasurer to 
the king, or steward to any of the nobility, — 
not even to work at trades for the Christians. 
They were no longer to have judges of their 
own nation, nor to observe their peculiar laws 
and customs ; they might not even tax them^ 
selves for the maintenance of the synagogue, 
M 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



244 THE JEWS IN SPAIN 

nor share as they liked the taxes imposed by 
the King. They were ordered to wear a 
peculiar dress, the form even of which was 
prescribed to them. The title of Don was for- 
bidden, and the power of quitting the kingdom 
at will taken from them. These laws were too 
absurd to be put in force, and the Jews knew 
that they possessed too much power and influ- 
ence to be compelled to submit to them. Yet, 
though under a different name, they continued, 
during the reign of John II. (for nearly fifty 
years), and that of his son, Henry IV. (from 
1454 to 1474), to retain their former connexion 
with the State. They were baptized in crowds 
in different parts of Spain, either in conse- 
quence of intolerable persecution, or, in some 
cases, of real conviction, of which we shall 
soon mention some bright examples. These 
families formed an entirely new body, who 
were long distinguished from the old Christian 
population by the designation of " Conversos," 
or New Christians. The influence of these 
converts became, in the fifteenth century, as 
extensive and important as that of the uncon- 
verted or unbaptized Jews of earlier times. 
They held the chief offices of State, and were 
about the person of the King, being especially 
favoured by Don Alvar de Luna, the powerful 



Digitized by 



Google 



WITH THE CHRISTIANS. 245 

minister of John 11. The preference shown 
both to the Converses and to the Jews in the 
reign of Henry IV. was made matter of com- 
plaint against that monarch, who naturally 
looked upon them as his most faithful parti- 
zans, and sanguinary contests were often the 
consequence. On one occasion, when the popu- 
lace made an attack upon the Jews and Con- 
versos at Jaen, the high constable, Don Miguel 
Lucas Iranza, who had taken their part, was 
put to death while attending mass. The town 
of Cordova and many others witnessed similar 
scenes of civil war, arising from religious or 
political jealousies. The Jews and Converses 
in this time of anarchy took up arms in all 
parts of Castile, hired troops to defend them- 
selves, or removed to Falma and Seville. 
From thence a considerable party, with Pedro 
de Herrera at its head, went to the Duke of 
Medina Sidonia, and opened a negotiation 
with him, requesting that the town and 
fortress of Gibraltar might, on the payment of 
a considerable sum, be made over to the Con- 
versos as their own possession. This scheme 
failed, owing to the interference of the people 
of Seville, from whom, on this account, the 
Jewish quarter had again much to endure.. 
The glorious period during which Isabella, 



Digitized by 



Google 



246 THE JEWS IN SPAIN, ETC. 

the sister of Henry IV,, with her husband, 
Don Ferdinand of Arragon, governed Castile, 
brought a complete change over the whole 
face of the country, and became to the Jews, 
and also to the New Christians, the time of a 
most striking crisis, the relation of which be- 
longs to a later part of this book. 

In the kingdom of Arragon, during the 
period of which we have spoken, the general 
fate of the Jews and its vicissitudes were not, 
as in Castile, minutely noted in the annals of 
the State. In the history of Arragon, also, the 
decrees of Councils, the remonstrances of the 
Cortes, the outbreaks of the populace, and the 
measures taken by the king, show clearly that 
the position of the Jews with respect to all 
these parties in the State was not very different 
from what we have observed in Castile. We 
may notice especially the influence and pros- 
perity enjoyed by the Conversbs, or baptized 
Jews, and their descendants, which was as 
great in Arragon as in any other part of Spain 
during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

But it is now time to turn our attention, 
which has been hitherto directed towards the 
political relation of the Jews in Spain, to the 
far more interesting memorials which have 
come down to us of their literary institutions^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



JEWISH THEOLOGY, ETC. 247 

and their progress in science, during their 
residence in that country, before the close of 
the middle ages. 

The first thing we have to consider is the 
theology of the Jews, their schools, and the 
writings of their Eabbins and commentators. 

Even during the rule of the Visigoths in 
Spi^in, Hebrew literature was cultivated, and 
the study of Holy Scripture and of the doc- 
trines of the Talmud preserved in the syna- 
gogues. In those early days, and in later 
times under the rule of the Saracens, the 
sources from which the Jews of the Peninsula 
derived their learning were the famous schools 
of Babylon and Persia, with which they main- 
tained an uninterrupted correspondence. The 
Israelitish parents of those ages sent their sons 
into the East to be instructed in theology ; and 
the synagogues sent deputations to ask advice 
upon questions of law and tradition, and to 
consult about customs, ceremonies, and insti- 
tutions. The most ancient liturgies of these 
synagogues, especially those for the fasts and 
the great day of atonement, were taken from 
prayers and formularies composed by Rabbi 
Nissim, head of a Jewish academy at Babylon. 
Among the learned men of the period which 
preceded the establishment of an independent 
system of rabbinical theology in Spain, we 



Digitized by 



Google 



248 JEWISH THEOLOGY AND 

find much praise iawarded to Rabbi Judah, 
for translating several Arabic writings into 
Hebrew, and composing a treatise upon Natu- 
ral Phenomena, as well as to Eabbi Menahem 
Ben Saruk,* a learned Talmudist, and the 
author of a Hebrew lexicon, entitled the 
** Book of the Root." The manuscript of this 
work, together with the criticisms of a cotem- 
porary named Rabbi Donasc, is preserved in 
the library of the Vatican, 

We have mentioned that an entirely new 
and independent school of Hebrew theology 
was subsequently established in the Peninsula* 
This new foundation, which soon filled the 
place of the schools in the East, and outshone 
the brightness of their celebrity, may date its 
rise from about the middle of the tenth 
century. 

We will notice, first, the place held by its 
Rabbanim in the long succession of schools, or 
generations of scribes, students of the law, and 
commentators, which formed the boast of the 
Jewish nation after the destruction of Jeru- 
salem. At the head of all are placed the 
Tanaim, the sages and learned men of Israel, 
who assisted Rabbi Judah Hakkodesh, in the 
third century, to commit to writing the Oral 

* Wolf and others have confused his name with that 
of Menahem Ben Jacob, of the fourteenth century. 



Digitized by 



Google 



SCHOOLS IN SPAIN. 249 

Law. The later Eabbins, whose explanations 
and paraphrases of that Mishna formed the 
two Talmuds, bear the name of Emoraim, or 
commentators. 

The Babylonian Talmud was completed (in 
505) during the eighth generation of this 
second series of Rabbins. To the Emoraim 
succeeded in their turn the Eabanan Seburse, 
or expounders of the Talmud. To these, who 
belonged chiefly to the Persian school, suc- 
ceeded, near the end of the seventh century, 
a second division of Talmudists, called 
Geonim (the excellent), and also Universal 
Doctors, or Jewish judges. Among the most 
learned men of this class was Rabbi Saadias 
Gaon, bom in Egypt in the year 892, who 
gained great reputation in Asia by his distin- 
guished talents and numerous writings, both 
in Hebrew and Arabic. He also excited 
attention by his violent discussions with the 
Nasi David Ben Zachai, on account of a 
sentence pronounced by the prince of the 
captivity, which Gaon considered unjust* 
His life was threatened in consequence of this 
dispute, and he spent many years in retire* 
ment, entirely devoted to study, and employed 
in the composition of several works, which 
have come down to posterity. It is believed 

M 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



250 JEWISH THEOLOGY AND SCHOOLS, ETC. 

that this learned Asiatic corresponded with 
the synagogue of Cordova. 

While the Jewish schools of theology in 
the East still existed, and were in a degree 
flourishing, an accidental circumstance pre- 
pared the way for the subsequent removal of 
the seat of modem Jewish science into the 
West. This event and its consequences, with 
a little legendary ornament perhaps, is thus 
told : — Four learned Israelites of Pumbeditha 
were in a ship, which was captured by a 
Moorish pirate from Spain, a.d. 948. One of 
them, named Eabbi Moses, after having seen 
his wife cast herself into the sea, to escape the 
ferocity of the captain, was, with his son, 
carried prisoner to Cordova. The Israelitish 
inhabitants of that town sdon effected their 
deliverance by means of a ransom. After 
remaining some time unnoticed, a learned dis- 
cussion in the synagogue became the means of 
raising Rabbi Moses high in the esteem of all, 
and renewing the interest his fate had before 
excited. He was soon chosen head of that 
synagogue and judge of the Jews ; and, be- 
coming known, while holding this office, to 
Rabbi Chasdai Ben Isaac, the great protector 
of his nation, at the court of Miramolin, he 
obtained, in marriage for his son, a daughter of 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE SPANISH RABBANIM. 251 

the powerful house of Peliag, thus laying a 
prosperous foundation both for his own de* 
scendants and for the Jewish schools of Spain. 
When the Persian school of the Geonim came 
to an end in the eleventh century, in the 
person of Rabbi Hai Bar Eab Scherira, the 
schools of the Spanish Rabbanim took its 
place, as the centre of Jewish civilization and 
learning. Soon Toledo and Seville, then 
Saragossa, Lisbon, and a great number of 
other cities, shared in the glory of Cordova. 
At Toledo alone, the number of students in 
Hebrew theology is said to have sometimes 
amounted to twelve thousand : the number is 
no doubt exaggerated, but the exaggeration 
itself proves the high idea that was formed of 
the extent to which the study of Hebrew 
literature was carried on in the ancient capital 
of Castile. 

From the commencement of the eleventh 
century to the end of the fifteenth, nine ages 
or generations of Rabbanim are reckoned in 
Spain, each generation named from a head of 
the synagogue, or some other distinguished 
student of the age. Though Rabbi Moses of 
Fumbeditha passes for the founder of the new 
school at Cordova, the first generation of Rab« 



Digitized by 



Google 



252 THE NINE GENERATIONS 

banim is not considered to begin with him, or 
his son, but with Rabbi Samuel Hallevi, sur- 
named Hanragid, or the Prince. He is looked 
upon, in general, as the first Rabbino mayor, 
or prince of the captivity in Spain (a.d. 1027). 
He held at the same time a high office under 
Habuz Ben Moksan, the Mahomedan prince 
of Granada ; and, for the space of thirty years, 
successfully employed his riches, talents, and 
influence for the good of his nation in Africa, 
Sicily, and Palestine, as well as the Peninsula. 
He caused many books to be copied, at his 
own expense, and presented to those syna- 
gogues that could not afford to purchase them. 
He often addressed in person a numerous 
auditory, and may take rank among the poets, 
as well as the learned men of the Sephardim, 
in those days. To the first generation of 
Rabbanim also belongs the philosopher and 
jurist, Rabbi Samuel Cophni Haccohen, of 
Cordova, whose exposition of Deuteronomy 
still exists in manuscript. Another Rabbi 
Samuel, of Barcelona, a cotemporary of the 
two others, distinguished himself by the efforts 
he made to annul the old rabbinical decrees 
against the study of Greek litei;ature. Another 
doctor of Barcelona, Rabbi Judah Ben Levi 



Digitized by 



Google 



OF SPANISH RA66ANIH. 253 

Barsili, i;vrote, hot long after, a treatise on a 
subject but imperfectly understood in the East, 
—the " Rights of Woman." 

The second generation of Babbanim begins 
mth the succession of Babbi Joseph Ben 
Samuel Hallevi to his father's dignity of 
Babbino mayor in 1056, The persecution 
which we have before mentioned as occurring 
in Granada, in the year 1064, is said to have 
caused the massacre of 1,500 Israelites, among 
whom perished their nagid, or prince — this same 
Babbi Joseph. It is owned by the rabbinical 
authors that he was worthy of such a fate, on 
account of his intolerable haughtiness. His 
son, Abraham, who was offered the choice be- 
tween embracing the religion of Islam and 
death, chose the latter. With him were put 
to death also the two sons of Kiskiah, the last 
~ Besch Glutha of Bagdad. 

The third generation of Spanish Babbanim 
is distinguished by the life and works of five 
learned men, who all bore the name of Isaac. 
At the head of the five Isaacs is Babbi Isaac 
Ben Yacob Alphesi, or of Fez in Africa, from 
whence he was raised to the dignity of prince 
of the captivity at Cordova, where he had 
taken up his abode. He died at Lucena, in 
1103, at the age of ninety. Among his works 



Digitized by 



Google 



254 THE NINE GENEIUlTIONS 

the most worthy of note is his Abridgment 
of the Talmud, upon which the celebrated 
Yarchi wrote a Commentary. The others 
were Eabbi Isaac Ben Baruch, sumamed '^ the 
Mathematician/* in high esteem for his pro- 
ficiency in that branch of science at the Court 
of the King of Granada : as a theologian he 
Was a bitter enemy of Alphesi and his opinions, 
but was reconciled to him on his death-bed. 
Rabbi Isaac Ben Moses/ Rabbi Isaac Ben 
Giath, a poet and professor at the school of 
Cordova, who brought up Azariah Hallevi, 
one of the sons of the Nagid Rabbi Joseph, 
killed at Granada. Lastly, Rabbi Isaac Ben 
Reuben, also a poet and professor, but yet 
more celebrated as the father of Rabl^i Moses 
Ben Nachman. 

The fourth generation commences during 
the twelfth century, and is adorned principally 
by Rabbi Joseph Ben Meir Hallevi, named 
also Aben Megas, the successor of Rabbi Isaac 
in the schools of Cordova. He died in 1141, 
leaving as his chief disciples, his own son and 
nephew, both named Meir, and the celebrated 
Maimonides. 

The ornaments of the fifth generation were 
Maimonides, of whom we shall afterwards 
speak more at length, — and his cotemporaries. 



Digitized by 



Google 



OF SPANISH BABBANIM. 255 

Aben Ezra, Moses and David, the sons of 
Joseph Kimchi, Rabbi Judah Aben Tibbon, 
Rabbi Joseph Ben Tzadick, the poet and judge, 
who ended his days at the head of the remnant 
of the Jewish people in Babylon. To the same 
period also belongs Rabbi Abraham Halleyi 
Ben David Ben Dior, a native of Toledo, sur- 
named the First, to distinguish him from a co- 
temporary of the same name at Naples. He 
was the author of the " Sepher Hacabbala," a 
book containing much valuable information 
concerning the history of the learned men, 
and Rabbanim of the dispersion. 

The sixth generation began at the close of 
the twelfth century, and owes its greatest lustre 
to the life and writings of Rabbi Moses Ben 
Nachman (Ramban), who became one of the 
greatest poets of his age, and to another Rabbi 
Moses, called Micozzi, from his birthplace in 
Italy, but long established at Toledo, and 
author of a learned dissertation on the 613 
commandments of the Mosaic and Oral Law. 

The seventh generation is that of Rabbi 
Solomon Ben Adereth, called Arisha, of Bar- 
celona ; Rabbi Gershon Ben Solomon, also of 
Catalonia ; Rabbi Perez Haccohen, the Cabba- 
list ; and Rabbi Jedidiah Happenini Badrashi, 
the poet. 



Digitized by 



Google 



256 THE NINE GENERATIONS, ETC. 

The eighth generation began in the year 
1300, when Rabbi Asher, a German by birth, 
established himself at Toledo, and was there 
chosen, on account of his great learning, head 
of all the schools and synagogues in Spain. 
His son, Juda, succeeded him in 1328, in 'the 
same city to which the Jewish academy of 
Cordova had been removed since the year 
1249. 

The ninth generation of the Rabbanim in- 
cludes the latter part of the fourteenth, and 
almost the whole of the fifteenth century. The 
head of the synagogue (a dignity quite distinct 
from that of prince of the captivity, though 
more than once held by the same individual) 
during this period was, first, Rabbi Isaac Cam- 
panton, who died at the age of 103 ; and afiter- 
wards, his chief disciple, Rabbi Isaac Aboab, of 
Castile, surnamed the last of the Geonim, who 
left that kingdom after the edict of banishment 
in 1492, and took refuge in Portugal, where 
he soon aft;er ended his days. 

The biography of all these learned men 
among the Jews, of whom, not individuals only, 
but whole families, have gained a high repute 
as commentators, Talmudists, poets, and phi- 
losophers; with a catalogue of their works, 
written both in Spain, Portugal, and the 



Digitized by 



Google 



ABEN EZRA, 257 

countries to which they were afterwards 
banished, have formed materials for many 
volumes. Even a small selection from the 
multitude of their names and the titles of their 
books, classed according to their contents, 
would much exceed the bounds of this little 
volume, without being absolutely essential to 
the object it has in view. Two names, how- 
ever, which we have already mentioned in the 
nine ages of the Spanish Babbanim, cannot 
well be passed over without more especial 
notice. These are Aben Ezra and Maimonides, 
both equally appreciated by the learned, 
whether Jews or Christians, — the former, 
chiefly as a commentator on the Old Testa* 
ment, a poet, and a traveller ; the latter as a 
jurist, a theologian, and a philosopher ; both 
gifted with wealth as well as talent, — at that 
time rarely united in the same individual. 

Abraham Ben Meir Aben Ezra was bom at 
the commencement of the twelfth century, (pro- 
bably in 1119,) at Toledo, of a family already 
distinguished by more than one name of emi- 
nence in the Jewish history of the Peninsula. 
Posterity has sumamed him, by way of dis- 
tinction, Hachacham (the wise) ; and learned 
Christians have also done full justice to his 



Digitized by 



Google 



258 ABSN £ZRA. 

genius and extensive learning. Taking into 
consideration the age in which he lived, he 
was really eminent as a commentator, gram- 
marian, philosopher, cabbalist, physician, ma- 
thematician, astronomer, and poet. Gifted 
with some portion of wealth, he was enabled 
to gratify a taste for travelling, which he pos- 
sessed in common with many of his coreligion- 
ists of that period. This taste, which belonged 
peculiarly to the Jews of the middle ages, is 
worthy of remark, as presenting a striking 
contrast to the life led by the monks and 
Roman Catholic clergy of that period. This 
desire of becoming personally acquainted with 
a world in which they met with so much 
hostility — this persevering diligence in study, 
carried on amid the fatigues and excitement of 
foreign travel — and, lastly, the desire to ease, 
as it were, their position as wanderers, by 
becoming really so, is especially observable in 
the character of Aben Ezra. The various 
places frotai which he dated his different works 
show, in the literal meaning of the word, that 
they were composed by a wanderer on the 
earth. One of them was written at Mantua, 
another at Rome, another in London, and a 
fourth in Greece. He visited also the land of 



Digitized by 



Google 



ABEN EZRA; 259 

his forefathers, and held discourse with the 
learned men of Tiberias upon the Masoretic 
text of the Old Testament. He died on his 
return from this pilgrimage, in his seventy- 
fifth year, — about twelve years earlier than 
Maimonides, who, with many others, esteemed 
and admired him. As a commentator on 
Scripture, he is valued, without exception, by 
all. He made good use of his great talents as 
a linguist, and was skilfiil in detecting the 
meaning of the text; while his expressions 
were elegant, and sometimes lively, and full 
of wit. His works have always been favour- 
ably received among Christians, and by them 
his Commentaiies have been translated into 
Latin. Complaint is made, however, of the 
obscurity of his style, which has required 
comments to be written upon his Commentaries. 
He also highly distinguished himself as a poet ; 
he has left sacred poetry, hymns, and prayers, 
some of which have been added to the Liturgy 
of the Sephardim. His hymn on the soul is a 
poetical development of the rabbinical idea, 
that each night during sleep, the soul, released 
from the body, gives account to the Most 
High of the works done during the day. He 
has left also other descriptions of poetry, — as 
Epithalamiums, Satires, and even a copy of 



Digitized by 



Google 



260 ABEN EZRA* 

verses on the game of chess,* which, with two 
other poems on the same subject, were trans« 
lated, and published in Latin, by Hyde, at Ox« 
ford, 1694. It is said that the Spanish version 
of the Old Testament, printed at Ferrara in the 
sixteenth century, was' only an improvement 
upon more ancient versions; among others, 
that of Aben Ezra. The Spanish language 
was at that time far less studied by the learned 
Jews than Hebrew and Arabic. 

Equalling Aben Ezra in the extent and 
variety of his knowledge, though perhaps his 
inferior in character and genius, Maimonides, 
his cotemporary, has, without doubt, made 
a more forcible and decided impression upon 
the whole views of posterity, especially among 
his own nation. When we have given a few 

* The game of chess was deeply studied, and gained 
much favour with the Jews. Among those of the 
Peninsula there were three distinguished champions, — 
Aben Ezra, Rabbi Ben Senior Aben Zuchia, and, probably, 
Bedrashi, the poet, who, however, has written on this sub- 
ject in prose. He wrote in the thirteenth century in praise of 
this ingenious and warlike game, especially as a means 
for the prevejition of gambling and card-playing. Cards 
must, therefore, have been known in Spain before the 
reign of Charles VI. of France, for whose amusement, 
during his madness, they are usually said to have been 
invented, in the fifteenth century. 



Digitized by 



Google 



MAIMONIDES^ 261 

particulars concerning his character and bio'^ 
graphy, we will endeavour to point out the 
nature of this influence, and the kind of feel- 
ing that was awakened in the synagogue by 
the theology of this doctor. 

Eabbi Moses Ben Majemon, or, with the 
Greek termination that has since been affixed, 
Maimonides, and among the Jews, by a pe- 
culiar species of abbreviation with which they 
are familiar,* '*Rambam," was bom at Cor^ 
dova, in Spain, — at that time in the possession 
of the Arabs, 1139, 

His father, Majemon, held the dignity of , 
Judge of the Jews in his native city, as other 
members of the family had done for some 
centuries previous. (His genealogy is found 
in one of his works, ascending in the male line 
thus : — Moses, the son of Majemon, the Judge, 
son of Joseph the Wise, who was the son 
of Isaac, son of Joseph, son of Obadiah, son of 
Solomon, son of Obadiah, — all Judges.) 

Moses himself, bom of his father's first 

* The Jews are accustomed to designate their chief 
Rabbins and writers bj composing a word formed of the 
initial consonants of their names, prefixing the initial of 
their title of Rabbi. Thus Moses Ben Migemon is 
called bj them Rambam, — a name we must distinguish 
from Ramban^ the similar abbreviation of Rabbi Moses 
BenNachman. . . 



Digitized by 



Google 



262 HAIHONIDES; 

marriage with a woman of inferior rank, was 
in childhood treated with contempt by the rest 
of the family, and by his father with a degree 
of severity, on account of his apparent stu- 
pidity. Having been for a time confided to 
the charge of Eabbi Joseph Aben Megas, or, 
according to some, to his son, Rabbi Meir Ben 
Joseph, at Lucena, he returned to his father's 
abode so much improved in learning and 
polished in manners, that contempt was ex- 
changed for admiration. From that time, he 
applied himself to the study of Arabic, astro^ 
nomy, and medicine, under the celebrated 
Averroes. In the science of medicine he after- 
wards excelled, and published several works 
on the subject. From this learned Arab the 
son of the Hebrew Judge received his know- 
ledge of Aristotle, whose works were brought 
into Europe by the Arabs, where they gained 
an influence which for many centuries per- 
vaded the whole of Christendom, 

The events which happened both to Averroes 
and Maimonides, and nearly at the same time, 
bore a singular coincidence. Averroes, first 
placed at Cordova as magistrate by the African 
prince of the Mohadites, commenced deliver- 
ing in that city a public course of instruction, 
by which he gained many personal enemies. 



Digitized by 



Google 



.HAIMONIDES. 263 

Accused of having spoken with disrespect 
of the Koran, he was stripped both of his 
dignity and fortune in 1163. In this distress 
he sought a reAige among the Jews of 
Cordova, some say even in the house of 
Maimonides. Soon after this escape, he fled 
irom that city and took refuge at Fez, in 
Africa, where he was compelled to undergo 
a humiliating penance at the door of the 
Mosque, and to recant some of his opinions 
considered adverse to the religion of the 
Koran. He afterwards returned to Cordova, 
where he was soon reinstated both in his 
former dignity and his office of professor, 
which he continued to exercise during the 
jspace of forty years. About the same time 
Maimonides was compelled by perseci^tion to 
quit his Spanish fatherland. A party among 
the Jews, discontented with African rule, 
sought an alliance with the Christian sove- 
reigns, especially King Alphonso VIII., of 
Leon and Castile. Maimonides, at all times 
disinclined to look favourably on Chris- 
tians, and, alas! also on Christianity itself^ 
preferred remaining on the Saracen territory 
in Spain, and consented to an outward con- 
formity with the rites of Islamism, in prefer- 
ence to seeking refuge in a Christian country. 



Digitized by 



Google 



264 HAIMOKIDES. 

As soon as a favourable opportunity pre- 
sented itself he escaped to Africa, and after a 
short residence at Morocco, established him- 
self in Egypt, There, for some time, he 
traded in precious stones and medals. When 
the Turks, after completing their conquests 
in Asia, overthrew the reigning dynasty in 
Egypt, and established their dominion in that 
country, Maimonides attached himself to one 
of their generals, to >vhom he became both 
physician and counsellor. By this means he 
was soon after brought to the notice of 
Salaheddin Yuzaf Ben Ayub, formerly 
vizir of Bagdad, who became after the year 
1171, Sultan, or (as he was more usually 
called) King of Egypt, and taken into his 
service. He filled the same post at the Court 
of this prince, and consequently remained at 
Cairo till the day of his death, in 1208, with the 
exception of a few years spent in disgrace and 
exile, caused by the odious accusations of his 
enemies, that he had attempted to poison the 
Sultan. He is said to have spent all the time 
of his banishment in a cave ; at all events, he 
devoted it entirely to his studies, the fruits 
of which have filled many volumes. He was 
afterwards recalled and reinstated in the 
favour of the Sultan. He has given us a 



Digitized by 



Google 



MAIMONIDES. 265 

sketch of his way of life during forty years, 
when his time was divided between his prac- 
tice as a physician, his employment at the 
Court of Egypt, and his diligent and extensive 
labour in his study. It is preserved in a 
letter written by him to Rabbi Samuel Aben 
Tibbon,* the diligent translator of his Arabic 
works into the Hebrew tongue : — 

" The residence of the King and my abode 
are situated at some little distance. Every 
day I am obliged to appear at Court ; if the 
Sultan, or one of his wives or children are ill, 
I remain there the greater part of the day. 
If all are well I return home, but never 
before noon. Then having dismounted and 
washed my hands, I find the house filled with 
people; Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, 
merchants and magistrates, friends and ene- 
mies, await me. I request their permission 
to take some food, which I only do once 
in the twenty-four hours. After that, I con- 
verse with each of my visitors, and prescribe 
medicines for them. Meanwhile, people are 
continually coming in and going out, so that 

* The familj of the Aben Tibbons was distinguished 
firom father to son hj their translation of the Arabic 
works of those learned Jews, who, for many years, wrote 
chiefly or entirely in Arabic 

N 



Digitized by 



Google 



266 MAIMONIDSS. 

it is generally two hours after dark before all 
t^e attendance ceases; I then throw myself 
on a couch, exhausted with fatigue, and take 
a little repose. You may imagine that, 
during all this time, no Israelite can .come 
to me for private intercourse on religious 
subjects. It is only on the Sabbath, when 
the greater part of the synagogue come to 
me after prayers, that I can give them any 
directions for their conduct during the week^ 
Then We read together a little until noon, 
after which some return to me, and we read 
together again till the time of evening prayen 
This is my usual way of life. Do not think, 
however, that I have completely described it^ 
When, by the help of God, you may be able, 
after having finished the translation for the 
use of your fathers, to come and see me here^ 
you can convince yourself, by your own eyes,, 
of the truth." 

How this learned Jew, in the midst of such 
overwhelming occupation, could find the 
leisure requisite to collect and digest materials 
for the numerous and voluminous works which 
have flowed from his pen is indeed astonish- 
ing. His books amount to more than thirty 
in number, and some of them are of great 
magnitude. To name a few of them will 



Digitized by 



Google 



MAIMONIDES. 267 

give an idea of the wide field of his studies, 
and the variety of subjects on which he wrote. 
A commentary on the Mishna was the labour 
<rf his youth, begun while he was yet in Spain, 
and concluded in lilgypt in his thirtieth year. 
This book was written in Arabic, and soon 
after translated into Hebrew.by several learned 
Israelites. Ten years later he composed, in 
very elegant Hebrew, his Yad Hakazakah 
(the powerful hand), which contains the whole 
doctrine of the Talmud methodically arranged, 
In fourteen books. Of a later date is his 
Moreh Nevochim (guide to the doubtful), 
a work in which he brings forward his whole 
interpretation of the Law and the Talmud with 
the greatest clearness. We shall soon have 
occasion to notice the effects produced by this 
work on the synagogues during its author's 
lifetime and the succeeding generation. 

His writings are various on many subjects 
besides Jewish theology; some have been 
printed, and others still remain in manuscript: 
they treat of medicine, natural history, and 
astronomy; one, entitled "A Letter to the 
Jews of Marseilles," appears written to con- 
trovert the opinion which then prevailed con- 
cerning the influence of the heavenly bodies 
on the evenfas( of life. His work on logic has 
N 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



368 DISSENSIONS IN THE SYNAGOGUE 

since found a commentator and admirer ifi 
Moses Mendelssohn, who, eight centuries after 
Maimonides, was, in more than one point, 
the upholder, and apparently the successor to 
his views. We possess, besides, the volu- 
minous and interesting correspondence of the 
Babbi of Cordova. 

Maimonides died in 1208, at Cairo, uni- 
versally looked up to during his life-time, and 
regretted at his death by all the synagogues 
of Africa, Spain, and elsewhere. Happier, in 
one respect, than hiis cotemporary and friend 
Aben Ezra, whose son embraced Mahomedan- 
ism. Rabbi Abraham, the son of Maimonides, 
succeeded him in the esteem of all the syna- 
gogues, who conferred upon him the title of 
Nagid, or Prince, of Spain, which was con- 
tinued to the grandson of this great man, the 
son of Rabbi Abraham, named Rabbi David. 
This celebrated Egyptian Rabbi was buried 
at Tiberias, which he had visited with the 
intention of ending his days there. Among 
the Jews, the praise of Maimonides has passed 
into a proverb : " From Moses (the lawgiver), 
to Moses (the son of the judge), there arose 
not a Moses.'* 

The writings of Maimonides, though highly 
esteemed by posterity, have only gained real 



Digitized by 



Google 



ON ACCOUNT OF MAIMONIDES. 269 

influence oyer a small minority of his co- 
religionists, at least in as far as relates to the 
important reformation in religious belief which 
he eQdeavoured to bring about, and the philo- 
sophical bent which he tried to give to rab* 
binical Judaism. This attempt caused, for a 
time, discussions and agitation in the syna^- 
gogues ; but these ideas never took deep root 
either in that century or any that succeeded 
it To form some idea of this system, and of 
these discussions and their results, it will be 
necessary to say a few words upon the cha- 
racter of the Spanish and African synagogues 
of the Middle Ages, — a character decidedly 
opposed to any philosophical tendency, not? 
withstanding the light with which, in other 
respects, they appear highly gifted. 

Conformably to the name which distin* 
guishes the schools of the Spanish Babbanim, 
and with their position as successors to the 
ancient schools or academies of Palestine, 
Babylonia, and Persia, the theology of their 
learned men was entirely based upon the 
authority of the oral law, and its elucidation 
by means of the Talmud. 

For one moment only the supporters of 
tradition were threatened with a defeat from, 
the Karaites. This sect, whose head quarters 



Digitized by 



Google 



270 DISSENSIONS IN THS SYNAGOGUE 

were in Palestine, had penetrated throtigli 
Africa as fitr as Spain, and at the commence^ 
ment of the twelfth century had gained suoh 
an influential party among the learned, and 
at the same time such decided support from 
the temporal power, that for a moment they 
appeared to possess the means of excluding 
and persecuting their Talmudical opponents. 
The tables were soon turned, however, when 
Babbi Judah, a decided Talmudist, was 
appointed Major-domo to King Alphonso, the 
Eighth of that name, often styled " Emperor 
of both the Spains." This Rabbi employed 
all his power and used all his influence against 
the Karaites, who, from that time (1157), 
were compelled to leave the country. Neither 
did they succeed in gaining any fitvour with 
the great Jewish doctors of Spain and Africa. 
Babbi Abraham Ben Dior, whom we have 
before mentioned, wrote against them with 
great vehemence in defence of tradition. 
With equal energy, but less vehemence, they 
were opposed by the poet, Judah Hallevi, in 
his Khusam. Aben Ezra, though numbering 
a Karaite of distinction among his instructors, 
was, nevertheless, very frir from attaching 
himself to their sect. Maimonides spoke 
against them with great zeal in Egypt, though 



Digitized by 



Google 



COKCSRKmC HAIM0KIDE8. 211 

he acknowledged at the same time the great 
merit and high character of some of their 
teachers. His son, Rahbi Abraham, brought 
over a whole synagogue of Karaites to Rab- 
binism. Al Charisi, whom we shall soon have 
occasion to mention as a poet, was wont to 
say of the Karaites, " that they preserved the 
tree, but cast away the fruit" ♦ 

Thus deeply rooted in the minds of the 
Jews and their teachers was a conviction of 
the indissoluble tie subsisting between the law 
and their traditions! This conviction is not 
to be wondered at It is perfectly natural, 
while the veil on the heart of the Israelite 
prevents him from receiving the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ as the accomplishment and com*^ 
i)letion of the Old Testament, he should yet 
feel the need of some sequel to the Mosaic 
dispensation. As for Maimonides, though, 
like his brethren, opposed to the doctrines of 
the Gospel, yet with a mind too highly 
enlightened to be enslaved by Jewish tradi- 
tion, he sought to form a system of his own, 
which, however, proved equally unprofitable 
in its results. 

Brought up in the Arabic school of Aris* 

* The sect of the Saddncees had for some time a 
number of adherents in Spain, prindpafiy at Burgos. 



Digitized by 



Google 



272 DISSENSIONS IN T^ SYNAGOGUE 

totle, and as it appears still more devoted to 
the works of Plato, his chief aim was, without 
quite overthrowing traditional Judaism, to 
base the establishment of its principles upon 
philosophy rather than upon revelation. The 
immense labour he undertook in arranging^ 
purifying, and concentrating the whole body 
of Talmudic theology and jurisprudence, was 
with this aim, and in accordance with these 
views. We shall in this respect also observe 
in later times the similarity of mind and 
purpose between Moses Maimonides of the 
twelfth, and Moses Mendelssohn of the eigh* 
teenth century. 

Such a system, though cautiously worded 
and introduced, and even carried out, from the 
religious feelings of its author, and of the age 
in which he lived, with the greatest apparent 
respect for the actual historical revelation of 
the Old Testament, could not fail of exciting a 
suspicion as to its consequences among the 
orthodox members of the synagogue. 

Immediately after the publication, of the 
Moreh Nevochim, during the life of its author, 
discussions began in the Jewish communities of 
Finance, and afterwards of Spain. The first 
outcry was raised at Montpellier, where Kahbi 
Salomon and * two of his disciples. Rabbi 



Digitized by 



Google 



CONCERNING MAIMONIDES. 2T3 

David and Sabbi Jonah, brought against the 
work an accusation of heresy, both in respect 
of the Talmud and the Word of God, 

The book was in consequence condemned, 
and sentence of excommunication pronounced 
against any one who should read it, or any 
other work imbued with the Greek and 
Arabic philosophy. The synagogues of Spain^ 
were soon divided into two great and formid- 
able parties. The most celebrated teachers 
formed a decided majority in favour of 
Maimonides ; while Babbi Judah Ben Rabbi 
Joseph Alphacar, of Toledo, equally esteemed 
as a physician and a theologian, took the part 
of his antagonists, the French Rabbins. A 
correspondence was consequently established be- 
tween Rabbi Judah and Rabbi David Kimchi, 
the well-known commentator on the Old 
Testament ; and even the most decided 
friends of Maimonides must confess, that the 
arguments they used were well grounded, 
and their style of writing full of a vigour and 
beauty from which even the vehemence of 
their expressions could not detract. The letter 
of Rabbi Judah plainly proves, that the system 
of Maimonides, by its arbitrary explanations and 
inventions, attacked the authority, not of tra- 
dition only, but also of Holy Scripture. Other 
N 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



274 DISSSN8ION8 IN THE SYNAGOGUE 

learned Jews have not hesitated^ to suspect 
Maimonides of a design to weaken the basis 
of the two fondamental doctrines of the 
Jewish religion, — the resurrection of the 
dead, and the expectation of a Messiah, 
although he has placed both these dogmas in 
his celebrated table of the thirteen articles of 
"Jewish belief. 

However, the party formed against Maimo- 
nides and his writings was soon obliged to 
give way to the undoubted majority and 
great superiority of his admirers. The sen- 
tence of excommunication passed in France 
was revoked, and the name of Maimonides yet 
more highly honoured as a star of the first 
magnitude among the learned men of Israel 
during their exile. Nevertheless, we do not 
find that the system introduced by this re- 
markable man has ultimately pervaded, to any 
great extent, the mass of Judaism, or eveu 
influenced the doctrines of its teachers. Rab- 
binism continued as much after as before the 
time of Maimonides, to exercise dominion over 
the synagogue. His writings, however, con- 
tributed greatly to extend the horizon of 
Jewish theology in the southern countries. 
It is very possible that the many conversions 
to Christianity of which we read in the annals 



Digitized by 



Google 



CONCEBNINQ MAIM0KIDE8. 275 

of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were 
theefiecty humanly speakings of that deficiency 
of real religion which was sensibly felt when 
minds were agitated by the discussions con- 
cerning the system and doctrines of Maimo- 
nides. 

The war&re stirred up in the synagogue by 
the writings of Maimonides between philo- 
sophy and religion was, however, no novelty. 
Neither did it cease after the momentary 
triumph gained by his friends. 

In the days of Rabbi Asher, head of the 
synagogue of Toledo, about a century after the 
time of Maimonides, grievous complaints were 
uttered by the Babbins of Spain on the pro- 
gress of Infidelity, and indifference in matters 
of faith, caused by the influence of Greek phi- 
losophy, Rabbi Salomon Ben Abraham Ben 
Addereth, of Barcelona, a friend of science, 
whose character had gained him the esteem of 
all parties, considered the complaints against 
an unbelieving system of theology so well 
founded, tbat he issued an edict forbidding 
the study of Greek philosophy to all Israelites 
under twenty-five years of age. The students 
of medicine were alone exempted from this 
prohibition, to which was attached the penalty 
of excommunication. The reasons for this 



Digitized by 



Google 



276 DISSENSIONS IN THE SYNAGOGUE 

prohibition given in the, edict are indeed 
curious. "There are," says this document, 
" certain semi-philosophers of Provence, who 
have given cause for the coercive measures it 
was necessary to make use of. These men 
have not feared to profane Holy Scripture by 
an absurd system of allegorical interpretation." 

We might imagine ourselves in the age of 
Strauss and Dupin, in reading the examples 
cited as the ground of these complaints: — 
"Abraham and Sarah are to be looked upon only 
as allegorical personages !— the twelve tribes 
of Israel are symbols to express the twelve signs 
of the zodiac ! — ^the Urim andThummim, astro- 
nomical instruments ! — the battle of the four 
kings against five, in the Book of Genesis, is 
only a myth, or allegorical representation of 
the influence of the four elements on the five 
senses ! The whole history of the creation is 
a fable!" 

It will not surprise us, after this, to hear; 
that not only the severe and narrow-minded 
Rabbinism of Rabbi Asher, with his numerous 
and powerful followers, but also the party 
who favoured worldly science, and to which 
the greater part of the Spanish synagogues 
belonged, thought it necessary to take mea- 
sures against the introduction of similar doc* 



Digitized by 



Google 



CONCERNING MAIMONIDES. 277 

trines. At length the aBcient school of tradi- 
tion gained the npper hand among the Jews of 
the Peninsula, without, however, destroying 
the influence of science and philosophy, or 
entirely excluding these studies. 

It is to the Jews of Spain and Portugal that 
we are especially indebted for the preservation 
and practice of medical science during the 
middle ages. Jewish physicians are often 
mentioned in the history of that period, and 
notice taken in all countries of their scientific 
knowledge as well as practical skill. The 
number of these doctors was as remarkable aa 
their talents, and we meet with them in the 
exercise of their profession at the Courts of 
the Caliph and Sultan, as well as the Pontiff. 
The writers of the present time who look upon 
the Jews as the princes of medical science in 
the middle ages, have chiefly in view those of 
Spain and Portugal.* If, as many say, the 
family of the Aben Zoars were Jews by birth 
as well as religion, then the honour of having 
educated Averroes in the medical science 
belongs, from the avowal of that great man 
himself, to the Jewish nation. 

Whether this fact be ascertained or not, the 

♦ See E. Carmshy'a interesting work, "Histoire des 
MMecins Juifs anciens et modernes. Brnssells, 1844. 



Digitized by 



Google 



3T8 ISWISR PHYSICtAKS. 

Jews of Spain were, with the Arabs and some 
few of the Roman Catholic clergy, the chief pre- 
Servers and professors of the science of medicine. 
We haye already mentioned some of their Bab- 
bins who were thus distinguished, but we may 
name many others, both among the professors 
of Judaism and the Conversos. Babbi Moses 
Abdalla, of CSordo'va, wrote, in Arabic, a book 
on medicine, of which a manuscript copy is 
stiU preserved in the library of the Escurial ; 
and in Hebrew, a commentary on the aphorisms 
of Hippocrates, — ^of which a manuscript copy 
exists in the library at Leyden. Babbi Isaac, 
in the eleventh century, wrote some books in 
Spanish on '* fever/' Babbi Moses Ben Je- 
hudah Aben Tibbon, in the twelfth century, 
translated into Hebrew some Arabic writings 
on the subjects of medicine, jurisprudence, 
philosophy, and astronomy. In the same 
century Babbi Jonah Ben Ganach, of Cordova, 
called by the Arabs, Abn Walid Marun Ben 
Ganach, gained great distinction, both as a 
linguist and physician. 

The decrees of Councils, however, often re^ 
peated, availed little towards excluding the 
Jews from the practice of medicine even in 
France and Italy, much less in Castile, 
ArragoQ, and Portugal. In the first-mentioned 



Digitized by 



Google 



JEWISH FHT8ICIAN8. 279 

of these Spanish kingdoms we find an nn* 
interrupted succession of Jewish physicians to 
the King, also employed by them in the affiurs 
ef the State* For example, the marriage settle- 
ments of Henry IV. of Castile, brother of 
Isabella, with the Princess of Portugal, were 
drawn up by a Jewish ambassador, Babbi 
Joseph, the King's physician. In Arragon, 
during the same century, an Israelitish phy* 
sidan, Abiathar, of Lerida, gained great renown 
by curing the blindness of King John II., at 
the age of eighty. This cure is the first 
instance of the operation for cataract which 
has been recorded in the history of medical 
science. The physician ventured to perform 
the operation upon one eye, and having com« 
pletely succeeded, felt some hesitation in pro- 
ceeding ; but the resolute and courageous old 
King compelled him to risk an operation on 
the other also. In Portugal the names of 
Jewish physicians are rarely wanting among 
the officers of the King's household. The 
dignity of " Physico-mdr," or first physician, 
was instituted by King John I. of Portugal, in 
1385, and bestowed first upon the Jewish 
physician Micer Moses, tc^ether with great 
privileges for himself and nation. Other 
Jewish professors of medicine were treated with 



Digitized by 



Google 



280 JEWISH PHYSICIANlSr. 

similar consideration until the reign of King 
Manuel. When the Jews were banished from 
Portugal, in the year 1497, the New Christians 
— concealed or baptized Jews and their de^ 
scendants — continued to distinguish themselves 
as professors of medicine ; for example, Dr. 
Manuel de Fonseca, and his son, Dr. Lope de 
Fonseca, — whose daughter, Ginebra, was burnt 
by the Inquisition on a charge of Judaism ; 
Dr. Geronimo Menes Eamires, whose pos- 
terity, with that of the Fonsecas, were for two 
centuries both numerous and distinguished 
among the Jews of Hamburgh and Amster- 
dam. Other celebrated practitioners, who 
emigrated from Portugal, also established 
themselves in these cities. Dr. Joao Kodrigo, 
of Castellobranco, called Amatus Lusita- 
nus; Dr. Abraham Zacuto, (Zacutus Lusi-^ 
tanus,) author of the " History of Celebrated 
Physicians ; " Dr. Immanuel Jacob Eosales, 
upon whom the Emperor of Germany bestowed 
the dignity of Count Palatine; and Dr. 
Bodrigo de Castro, were equally known by 
their writings and celebrated for their en- 
lightened views during the early part of the 
seventeenth century. Two sons of the last- 
named physician rose to eminence in the same 
profession, Dr. Bento (Baruch), and Dr. Andr^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



JEWISH PHYSICIANS. 281 

(Daniel) de Castro ; one was physician to the 
Court of Queen Christina, of Sweden, the 
other to the King of Denmark. At Amster- 
dam an uninterrupted series of physicians has 
risen from the Spanish and Portuguese syna- 
gogue during the last two centuries. Among 
them, besides Zacutus and Rosales, were Dr; 
Bueno Bibas, consulted at the Hague in the 
last illness of Prince Maurice; Drs. Orobio 
de Castro and . Semah Aboab, both father and 
son, with many others, too numerous to men- 
tion here, before Dr. Immanuel Cappadose in 
our days. 

In France, also, the Jews from Provence, 
or from the Peninsula, frequently distin- 
guished themselves in the medical profession. 
A Jewish physician was called in to Francis 
I., and is said to have been the first to recom- 
mend the use of ass's milk. The poet Nos^ 
tradamus, well known on account of his 
singular predictions, was the descendant of a 
Jewish physician at the Court of King E6n6, 
of Provence. A little before the time of 
Nostradamus, another physician, of Jewish 
birth, followed the Constable of Bourbon in 
his exile from his king and country. The son 
of this physician was the celebrated and dis- 
tinguished Chancellor of France, Michel de 



Digitized by 



Google 



382 JEWISH PHTSICtANS. 

THopital, at the end of the sutteenth century, 
equally celebrated for his Christian virtue, 
and his great talent as a legist and statesman. 
Catherine de Medici in those times sought to 
the Jews more for astrology than medicine. 
In both these capacities were Jewish emi« 
grants from the Peninsula received by Mary 
de Medici, wife of Henry IV., of France; 
among their number was Dr. Elias Bodrigo 
Montalto, who died at Paris, and was after^ 
wards removed for interment to the Portu-^ 
guese Jewish cemetery of Onverkerk, in the 
neighbourhood of Amsterdam. In the eigh* 
teenth century. Dr. de Sylva, a Portuguese 
Israelite, was highly celebrated in France as a 
physician ; he was one of the very few upon 
whom Voltaire, the great enemy of Israel, 
bestowed, both in his poetry and history, some 
words of praise. 

The celebrity gained by the Jews of the 
Peninsula in the knowledge and practice of 
medicine is honourably sustained at the pre- 
sent time by their coreligionists of German 
extraction. We shall have occasion to notice, 
in a later period, how they have succeeded 
their brethren of the south in many different 
departments of science and erudition, and 
have, in many respects, surpassed them. 



Digitized by 



Google 



JEWISH .ASTRONOMERS AND TRAYELLERS, 283 

We rarely find mention made of a Jewish 
theologian or physician in Spain and Portugal^ 
during the Middle Ages, who was not at the 
same time either a poet, astronomer, or mathe- 
matician — often all these at once. The study 
of astronomy, at that time looked upon as 
almost inseparable from judicial astrology, 
was, by the learned Jews, turned to most 
valuable practical account. We shall soon 
hare occasion to remark upon the share they 
took in the maritime discoveries of Portugal^ 
by the appUcation of astronomy to the pur« 
poses of navigation. The learned Jews of the 
Peninsula often visited distant countries, and 
accomplished lengthened voyages. We may 
give as an instance a well-known Babbi of 
the twelfth century, Benjamm of Tudela, 
whose ^* Itinerary '* has been the subject of 
much diversity of judgment. Its singulat 
narratives and palpable mistakes have some- 
times given rise to a doubt whether its author 
had really made the journey, or had not rather 
dbosen this form to relate the observations of 
others, gathered £rom different sources. In 
our days, deeper investigation has certified 
the reality of the voyage, and the actual truth 
of many of its details, which are, however. 



Digitized by 



Google 



284 HEBREW FOETBT IN SPAIN. 

mixed up with much that is fabulous, and 
accompanied by many incredible tales. 

We must add, to the learned Jewish astrot 
nomers already mentioned, the name of Babbi 
Abraham Zacuto, professor of astronomy at 
the Academy of Salamanca, his native town, 
till the year 1492, when, having fled to Por« 
tugal, he was favourably received by King 
Manuel, and raised to a post of honour at his 
court. He made a perpetual almanac, dedir 
cated to the Bishop of Salamanca, which he 
published at Leiria, in Portugal, a.d. 1495. 
His name is well known in Rabbinical lite- 
rature as the author of the " Sepher Yacha- 
sin " (book of genealogies), a valuable source 
of reference for the history of the older rab- 
binical theology and the schools which suc^ 
ceeded it. He was ancestor to the physician 
Zacutus Lusitanus before mentioned. 

That the general revival of literature and 
science among the Jews of Spain was owing 
to the influence of the Arabs, is an established 
feet, easily taken for granted in every branch 
we have hitherto discussed. We cannot dis- 
allow the existence of this influence even over 
the Hebrew poetry which was written in 
Spain. Without doubt, poetry was inherited 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW POETRY IN SPAIN. 285 

by the Israelites, as a gift pertaining to their 
history and their race (which they surely had 
no need to borrow from the sons of Ishmael), 
who were in possession of all the treasures of 
poetry imd of language contained in the books 
of Holy Scripture committed to their c^e. 
Yet we cannot deny that Arabian example 
and models greatly assisted to revive the poetic 
genius of the dispersed Israelites, at a time 
when this talent was on the point of being 
lost, choked amid the brambles, and envdoped 
in the mists of Cabbalistic and Talmudic sub- 
tilty. Some influence over the Hebrew poetry 
of the Spanish Jews is attributed to the 
writings of an Italian predecessor, Rabbi 
Eleazar Ben Jacob Kalir. However this may 
be, it is certain that the Spanish schools of 
poetry profited greatly by the example of their 
neighbours the Arabs, in the study of lan- 
guage and composition, as well as in the 
knowledge of rhythm. Although the modem 
poetry of the Israelites during their dispersion 
is no more to be compared with the sacred 
poetry of their fathers, than a fruit dried or 
artificially preserved through the winter can 
rival the same fruit in summer freshly gathered 
from the tree, yet this school of Hebrew 
poetry, flourishing during five centuries in 



Digitized by 



Google 



286 HEBRBW POETRY IN SPAIN; 

Spain, forms a striking feature in the modern 
history of the Jews. In beauty and eleyatiou 
of style it certainly deserves the preference 
over any cotemporary efforts made by the 
French or Italians, and its celebrity has con* 
tinued undiminished in spite of the master- 
pieces of Hebrew poetry which have arisen in 
our time from Germany, We will now glance 
our eye over the CoryphsBi of the Spanish 
school of poetry, which reached its greatest 
eminence in the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies. 

We have before mentioned Rabbi Chasdai* 
Ben Isaac as high in repute at the CSourt of 
Abderhaman IIL, in the latter half of the 
tenth century. An idea may be formed of his 
character, and the nature of his poetical talent, 
from his letter to Joseph, the Jewish King of 
the Chasars. Doubts have been raised both 
as to the existence of such a kingdom, and to 
the authenticity of the Hebrew Babbins' 
letter. Later researches seem to have partly 

* The name fully written is Chasdai Bar Isaac Bar 
Ezra Bar Schafrut. Bar and Ben (sometimes Aben) in 
Hebrew, and Ibn in Arabic, signify son. Aben is more 
often used by the rabbinical writers to denote the family 
name, as Aben Ezra, Aben Tibbon, Aben Dana ; and 
Ben, Bar, and Ibn, to express the immediate relation 
between father and 8on« 



Digitized by 



Google 



H£B&EW POETET IN SPAIN* 287 

confirmed and partly modified Jewish tradition 
on this subject Kings who held the Jewish 
religion appear to have reigned over the 
country of the Chasars, or Chosars, a Turkish 
race dwelling on the western borders of the 
Caspian sea^ These kings, whose subjects 
were either Christian or Mahomedan, seem to 
have first embraced Judaism in the eighth 
century.* The report of this kingdom was 
calculated to excite a lively iaterest among 
the Jews, both of Spain and the East. Eabbi 
Chasdai's letter, the authenticity of which has 
been well corroborated, gives a short accoimt 
of the poet himself, and the position he filled 
at the Court of Cordova: it describes the 
general condition of the Jews in Spain, and 
gives some details as to the nature of that 
country. The Babbi expresses the wish he felt 
to receive a similar communication concerning 
the Jews in the country of the Chasars. The 
introduction is in rhyme, and according to the 
Hebraico-Arabian style, forms an acrostic of 
the author's name. 

* Earainsin, in his '' History of the Bussian Empirey** 
Book L, throws most light on this kingdom of the 
Chasars, while Basnage suspects that it never existed* 
See Jost*s *' Oeschichte der Israeliten,'' vi., 1 1 1 — 120, and 
note to page 865» 



Digitized by 



Google 



288 HEBREW FOET&Y IN SPAIN. 

To this century also belongs, with some 
names of less distinction, that of Rabbi Isaac 
Ben Chalfon, an admirer and distinguished 
student of his national poetry; also that of 
Rabbi Joseph Ben Isaac Ibn Stanas Ibn 
Abitur, from whom the Caliph Al-Hakem 
requested a translation of part of the Talmud 
into Arabic, and who is chiefly known in the 
annals of the Spanish Jews by his discussions 
with Kabbi Moses, of Cordova, who excommuni- 
cated him. In consequence of this sentence, 
he resided abroad, and ended his days at 
Damascus. His poetry, like that of the 
greater part of the Hebrew school of Spain, 
was intended for religious worship, and as 
such has been added to the Liturgy of tl^ 
synagogue. A keduscha, or song of praise, 
on the " three holy" of Isaiah (vi. 3), is con- 
sidered as his masterpiece: this theme, with 
many variations and different prefitces, is 
frequently repeated in the Jewish prayers. 

Kabbi Isaac Ben Jehudah Ben Giath, 
whom we have already named, is one of the 
most distinguished of the Hebrew poets in 
Spain. He gained repute also as a philo- 
sopher, physiologist, cosmographer, and astro- 
nomer, according to the measure of light 
which had been thrown upon these sciences at 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW POETRT IN SPAIN. 289 

that period. As a poet, he is admired for his 
striking and well-turned sentences, and his 
exquisite taste in the use of language ; but on 
the other hand, his style is thought too highly 
finished, and too much laden with scientific 
ornament, which has caused it to be com- 
pared to the Alexandrian school of Greek 
poetry. His critics have, however, unani- 
mously joined in praising his penitential 
hymns, found in the Liturgies of many syna- 
gogues for the services during the month that 
precedes the new year. Painfully charac- 
teristic is the mixture of truth and error in 
one of these hymns, proceeding from the pen 
of a poet who still disowns his Messiah; After 
reminding the pious, when preparing for their 
evening devotion, that the only foundation of 
their trust was in the mercy of God, not in 
their own works, he adds, " Now devout 
prayers must fill the place of the ancient 
sacrifices." He composed also hymns for the 
Feast of the Passover and the great Day of 
Atonement, with a poetical paraphrase of the 
biblical narrative of £lijah*s prayers on Mount 
Carmel. To Isaac Ben Giath succeeded as 
poets Babbi Joseph Ben Jacob Ibn Sahl, his 
disciple, who died a.d. 1124, at Cordova; and 
hb own son and grandson, Babbi Jehudah and 

o 



Digitized by 



Google 



290 HEBREW POETRY IN SPAIN. 

Rabbi Solomon Ben Giath, both looked upon 
as masters of the art by such judges as AI 
Charisi and Judah Hallevi. 

Among the Hebrew poets of Spain in the 
eleventh century, we may mention also Rabbi 
Bechai Ben Joseph Ben Fekudah and Rabbi 
Moses Ben Jacob, of the distinguished family 
of Aben Ezra. Rabbi Bechai, sumamed 
Hazaken (the old) and Hadayin (the judge), 
is principally known by a religious work on 
the *' Duties of the Heart," written in a kind of 
poetical prose, but considered as a poem more 
on account of its sublimity of style and lan- 
guage, than for its actual versification. He 
wrote it in Arabic, and apparently from 
Arabian models. A Hebrew translation was 
made first by Joseph Kimchi, and then by 
Rabbi Jehuda Ben Samuel Aben Tibbon ; a 
Portuguese translation was made from the 
Hebrew by Rabbi Samuel Ben Isaac Abaz, at 
Amsterdam, in the seventeenth century. As 
a Hebrew poet, Rabbi- Bechai is especially 
famed for a poem on " Self-examinationy ' 
translated into Italian by a Jewish lady, 
Deborah AscareUi, of Rome, and by Dr. 
Sachs, of Berlin, into German verse, together 
with some other specimens of modem Hebrew 
poetry. 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW POETRY IK SPAIN. 291 

Still brighter fame as a poet is awarded to 
Moses Ben Ezra, who is also equally cele- 
brated as a learned Talmudist, and a pro^ 
fessor of Greek philosophy. Although, like 
his brother poets, he excelled in sacred song; 
he also tuned his lyre as an inhabitant of the 
west, and sang at times of love, but more often 
in praise of the beauties of nature.* He was 
a cotemporary of the celebrated Rabbi Je* 
hudah Ben Samuel Hallevi, who bestowed 
due meed of praise upon him. and some other 
members of his noble and learned family^ 
We shall soon speak more at length of Hal- 
levi the poet '^par ea^cellence" but we must 
first give a few particulars concerning Rabbi 
Salomon Gabirol, who, in the order of time, 
should have preceded Moses Ben Ezra. 

Rabbi Salomon Ben Jehudah Gabirol is 
unanimously allowed to have far excelled all 
the other Jewish poets of the tenth and 
eleventh centuries. Bom in 1031, either at 
Malaga or at Saragossa, where he afterwards 
redded, his life was as short as his talentd 
were brilliant, and his end tragical. His 
death is said to have been caused by the 
sanguinary envy of an Arabian rival in song, 

* Alexander von Humboldt, in his ^^Kosmos," ii., 119, 
has praised his sublime description of natural scenery. 

o 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



292 fi£BB£W POETRY IN 8FA1K. 

and the legend tells, that the young poet was 
buried by his murderer under a fig-tree, which 
produced in consequence so great an abund- 
ance of fruit, of such exquisite flavour as to 
attract the attention of the Caliph, and lead to 
the discovery of the body, and a detection of 
the crime which had been committed! The 
poet Gabirol is only known to us .by his 
writings, which show him to have been a man 
of deep feeling, great poetical talent, and ex- 
tensive learning. His first work reminds us 
of the saying of a great poet of our own days : 
" It matters little to the true poet, if it be the 
alphabet or the Achilles of Grecian story 
which awakes his powers." Gabirol, in his 
nineteenth year, wrote a Hebrew Grammar in 
verse — a work which Aben Ezra has since 
pronounced worthy of the highest praise. 
The following ideas taken from the introduc- 
tion may lead us to form some estimate of the 
poetical imagination of its author. In this 
part of the work, the author complains " that 
the study of the sacred tongue, honourable 
above all others, had been too long neglected, 
so that by a great multitude of his brethren 
tiie words of the prophets were no longer 
understood." At this thought, the conscious- 
ness of his own youth neither could nor should 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW POETEY IN SPAIN. 293 

restrain him, A voice cried within him, " Gird 
thyself for the work, for God will help thee I 
Say not, I am too young; the crown is not 
exclusively reserved for old age. He will 
make use of poetry to render this labour 
attractive to the eyes, like a garden of flowers ; 
for his hope was great that that language may 
again be studied in which the inhabitants of 
heaven sing the praises of Him who clothes 
himself with light as with a garment ; — this 
language, formerly spoken upon earth by all 
men, before the foolish ones were scattered, 
and their speech confounded ; — this lan- 
guage became the inheritance of God*s people 
under the tyranny of Egypt; — in this lan- 
guage the law of God was promulgated, and 
the prophets brought healing to the afflicted 
nation. He would they were jealous, like 
Nehemiah (xiii. 23 — 25), for the purity of 
the language of Israel." He then expresses 
his indignation that the mistress should have 
been reduced to the state of the servant, and 
the lawful wife to that of the concubine. 

The poetical talents of Gabirol were exer- 
cised on many different subjects; hymns, 
elegies, confessions of sin, descriptions of the 
future. In all these, we find a noble and 
affecting echo of the poetry of his ancestors. 



Digitized by 



Google 



294 HEBREW POETRY IN SPAIN. 

The Kether Malchiit (or, royal crown) is 
looked upon as his masterpiece, — a poem which 
the pious Israelite recites during the night 
passed in watching and prayer before the 
great Day of Atonement. This poem, in 
honour of the goodness and power of God, 
after a brilliant introduction, confeedns first, a 
description of the universe, rich in details, 
which give us much interesting information 
on the ideas held by the Talmudists concern* 
ing the laws of creation ; then follow praises 
of the greatness and wisdom of God, as mani* 
fested in the construction of the human body ; 
he then dwells, with equal richness of Ian* 
guage and poetry, on the nothingness and 
misery of human nature, and the necessity 
for humiliation before God on account of sin. 
The whole closes with a prayer for the tem* 
poral and eternal preservation of Israel, their 
restoration to their country, and the rebuild- 
ing of their sanctuary, and this is followed by 
a magnificent doxology. 

The history of Jewish literature during the 
twelfth century is adorned with the names of 
many Hebrew poets, both in Spain and Africa. 
Rabbi Aaron Ben Rabbi Joshua Alemani, at 
Alexandria; Rabbi Salomon Abu Ajab Ibn 
Almalam, whose verses, in the words of Al 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBEEW PQETBY IN SPAIN. 295 

Charisi, '^ made the dumb to sing, and caused 
light to strike upon the eyes of the blind ; " 
Babbi Chalfon Hallevi, of Damietta, called 
in Arabic Abu Said ; Rabbi Levi Ben Jacob 
Altabban, with his brothers at Saragossa, and 
many besides. All these poets kept up an 
interchange of friendship and correspondence 
with one another, and with him who was 
considered by all to have surpassed his pre- 
decessors and cotemporaries, — Rabbi Judah 
Ben Samuel Hallevi. Al Charisi has ex- 
pressed his feelings on this subject in the 
following language, not, however, without 
considerable exaggeration in the choice of his 
figures : — 

'*The poetry of Judah the Levite is like 
a diadem on the head of the synagogue, and 
a necklace of pearls around its neck ; it is the 
pillar of the temple of poetry ; he is the man 
armed with a lance, who overthrows all the 
giants of the art ; his songs take away courage 
from the prudent : he has exhausted the store- 
house, he has carried off precious spoil ; he is 
gone out and has closed the door after him, so 
that none may enter. All the poets who 
follow him have his words in their mouth — 
he rends the heart, he takes possession of it 
by his songs of supplication ; his lays of love 



Digitized by 



Google 



296 HEBREW FOETRT IN SPAIN 

are gentle as the dew, yet fervent as the 
burning coal. In his letters and his writings 
all poetry is contained.*' 

Excepting the year of his birth (1105), and 
its locality at Castile, we have no records of 
the life of Judah Hallevi, and no details, 
beyond a few interesting notices gathered 
from his own works. From these we learn 
to appreciate him, not as the prince of poets 
only, but as one of the most interesting 
characters we meet with in the history of 
modem Judaism. The master feeling which 
accompanied him through life, and gave a 
peculiar turn to his mental efforts, was a strong 
affection for the spot where the temple of 
Jehovah once stood, and this feeling pervaded 
the whole of his poetry. He eventually 
undertook a jouniey to Palestine, and, ac- 
cording to the relations of his biographers, 
he reached the threshold of Jerusalem, but 
died before entering its gates, being trampled 
down, as tradition tells, by the horse of 
an Arabian Moslem while he was chanting 
an elegy on the misfortunes of Judah and 
Jerusalem before one of the gates of that city. 
More modem biographers have classed this 
tale among the Jewish legends of the Middle 
Ages, and give as their opinion that he died 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW POETRY IN SPAIN. 297 

daring a stay in Egypt, while on his way to 
Jerusalem. It is, at all events, certain that 
he never entered the city, the object of his 
affections, and this gives a still more touching 
interest to the account he himself gives of the 
emotions of his heart, from the time he formed 
a resolution to accomplish his vow of pilgrim- 
age. He expresses, with much feeling, the 
yearning of his soul towards the land of his 
fathers in the following lines of one of his 
poems: — 

^In the west is mj bodj, while my heart is in the 

east. 
What has long been the joy of my hope, now becomes 

a lengthened torment. 
Ah, shall I ever obtain what my soul has so long 

desired I 
I who live among Ishmael, while Edom possesses 

Zion! 
What is Spain to me with her blue sky and her bright 

fame? 
In comparison with a little dust of that temple which 

is trodden under foot by the Gentiles." 

A friend of Hallevi's, also a poet, tried, by 
a poetical epistle, to dissuade him from this 
perilous enterprize. He answered him by a 
poem, in which he complains " that the grace- 
ful verses of the letter he had received con- 
cealed daggers to wound him, and that thorns 
o 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



298 HEBREW POETRY IN SPAIN. 

were hid beneath the jBoftness of its fine ex- 
pressions." For further satisfaction, he refers 
him to those of their fathers who had journeyed 
in that country which had received the imme* 
diate revelation of God, and his heralds the 
prophets. He ends by exhorting his cool 
adviser against that Greek wisdom which had 
always been inimical to any depth of religious 
feeling, and which must ever continue incom- 
patible with the foundations of Judaism. 

Other poems of Hallevi are dated after the 
time when he really began his journey. 
When at sea, he called to mind, with affection, 
all the membfers of his family — his brothers, 
sisters, daughters, the synagogue of his country, 
and the place he had filled in it ; yet still the 
longing desire to behold the land of the altar 
and of the ark of God remained uppermost 
in his mind. " If he can but accomplish his 
vow, the sight of jackals and hyenas would 
be rather welcome than terrible to him, and 
the roaring of the lion a more pleasing music 
than the bleating of flocks." His last poetry 
was written in Egypt, where this celebrated 
writer received an honourable and hospitable 
welcome. We have already mentioned his 
end. His writings, besides his hymns, many 
of which are incorporated in the Liturgy of 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW FOETRT IN SPAIN. 299 

the synagogues, consist of elegies, epitha* 
lamiums, and paraphrases on verses of the 
Psalms, with a work in Arabic prose, which 
has gained great celebrity. This book, named 
** Khusari,*' is an apology for Judaism, in the 
form of an imaginary dialogue between a king 
of the Chasars and an Israelitish Rabbi, who 
supports the cause of the Talmudists against 
the doctrines of the Karaites and the phi- 
losophy of the Gentiles. A later version of 
this work was made in 1560, by T. Buxtorf, 
the son, and a Spanish translation by the 
Portuguese Rabbi Jacob Abendana, in Eng- 
land (a. d. 1663). 

Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman, bom at Girona, 
in Catalonia (1194), and also famed for his 
poetry and learning, was more successful than 
Rabbi Judah in the attempt which he also 
made to visit Palestine, where he ended his 
days in 1267. In a letter to his son, he gives 
an account of the feelings excited by his resi- 
dence in that country. " My son Nachman," 
he writes, " may the Lord bless you, and grant 
you to see the peace of Jerusalem, and your 
children's children. I date this letter from 
Jerusalem, the holy city. I give thanks and 
praise to the God of my salvation, that I was 
enabled to reach this place in safety on 



Digitized by 



Google 



300 HEBBEW POETRY IN SPAIN. 

the ninth of the month EluL I have r&i 
mained here till now, the day following the 
preat Day of Atonement. My plan is, to 
visit Hebron, to cast myself upon the sepul- 
chres of our fathers, and there to prepare my 
own tomb. What can I say of this country ? 
Great is its desolation and its sterility. The 
more holy the spot, the more completely is it 
abandoned. Jerusalem is the most degraded 
of all — Judea more so than Galilee. Yet 
even in its desolation it is a blessed country^ 
The city contains 2,000 inhabitants, 300 of 
whom are Christians, who have escaped the 
sword of the Sultan. Since the invasion of 
the Tartars, no Jews have been settled here. 
Only two brothers, dyers by trade, are Jews. 
At their house we assembled, to the number of 
ten, and celebrated the Sabbath with prayers. 
We have now succeeded in procuring, a de- 
serted house, with marble pillars and a fine 
vaulted roof, and have transformed it into a 
synagogue. The city has, properly speaking, 
no government, and he that wishes may take 
possession of the parts that are imoccupied. 
We have contributed the needful expense to 
ensure possession of the house for the purpose 
I mentioned. We have also procured from 
Sichem some volumes of the law, which had 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW POETEY IN SPAIN. 301 

been concealed there at the time of the Tartar 
invasion. Thus, we shall have a synagogue, 
and shall pray here. Men and women flock 
from all parts to Jerusalem — from Aleppo, 
Damascus, and all parts of the country, to 
behold the sanctuary and to weep. May He 
who has permitted me to see Jerusalem in 
her desolation, grant that we may see her 
restored, rebuilt, and filled with the glory of 
the Lord. May you, my son, see the welfare 
of Jerusalem, and be witness of the con- 
solation of Zion!" The letter is ended by 
remembrances to his disciples, and especially 
to his nephew. Rabbi Mo^es Ben Salomo, an 
elegy of whose composition had been recited 
by Moses Ben Nachman on the Mount of 
Olives. 

Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman left many other 
writings which testify that, considering the 
age in which he lived, he was remarkable as a 
thinker, expounder, Talmudist, and especially 
as a student of the Cabbala. In the division 
of the synagogues caused by the writings of 
Maimonides, he took the part of the latter, 
probably more on account of the esteem he 
felt for his character, than from any great 
sympathy with his opinions. In 1263, he 
held a public conference on religion with Paul 



Digitized by 



Google 



302 HEBREW FQETRT IN SFAIK. 

Christian, said by some to have been a con- 
verted Jew. As a poet, he is chiefly iamed 
for one mi^nificent hymn, used by many 
of the synagogues in the service for the first 
day of the year. 

The study of Hebrew poetry, which was 
carried to the highest degree of eminence by 
Judah HaUevi, appears to have perished amid 
the disputes of the succeeding century, leav- 
ing fuller scope to the development of Jewish 
doctrines and traditions. We will mention 
two more names, virfaich though they cannot 
take rank among poets of the first order, yet 
deserve some notice. 

One of these is Judah Happenini Ben 
Abraham, called Bednaschi, from Beziers, the 
native city of his father. He first saw the 
light at Barcelona, in 1250, and is ranked' 
among the Hebrew poets of that time as being 
the author of a few pieces, which are more 
esteemed for the ingenuity and studied labour 
of which they bear the marks, than for any 
intrinsic poetical merit. For instance, in one 
of these poems, every word begins with the 
letter M. He has a better right to the title 
of "Orator," given him by his brethren, 
while Christian writers have compared him 
to Seneca, Lactantius, and Cicero. He owes 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW POETRY IN SPAIN* 303 

this honour to his work, entitled ^^ Bechinath 
Gnolam " (Examination of the World), a dis- 
course, or letter, concerning the vanity of all 
earthly things, and the seeking of the king- 
dom of God. The learned Philip Aquinas,*, 
an Israelite converted to Christianity in the 
seventeenth century, wrote a French transla- 
tion of it. Great praise has been bestowed 
both on the work itself and the way in which 
it is treated by its French translator, as well 
as by Buxtorf,t and other competent judges. 
Rabbi Judah Happenini, who was a great 
advocate for philosophical studies, vehemently 
opposed the sentence of excommunication 
pronounced by Rabbi Salomon Ben Addereth. 
He is also said to have composed a work of 
some extent on the game of chess, under the 
designation of" the royal delight." 

We will end with a few words upon one 
more Jewish poet of Spain, — Rabbi Jehudah 

• Philip (formerly Mordecai) Aquinas died in the year 
1650y at Paris, where he had taught Hebrew and trans- 
lated several rabbinical books for the use of Christians.* 
His son, Louis Henry, was also a great Orientalist. His 
grandson, Anthony Aquinas, was first physician to Louis 
XIV. — See Bayle's Dictionary. 

f Liber insignia tarn quoad res, quam quoad verba, ut 
eloquentissimus habeatur, quisquis stylum ejus imitatur. 
— Buztorf. 



Digitized by 



Google 



304 HEBREW POETRY IN 8FAIN. 

Ben Salomon Ben Alcophni, more generally 
known as Al Chans! (the poet), whom we 
may designate as the Horace of that schooL 
The exact dates of his birth and death are not 
known, but there is no doubt that he belonged 
to the thirteenth century. Descended from 
poetic ancestors, and, like Maimonides, be^ 
longing to a part of Spain then subject to the 
Mahometans, the Arabs were both his iur 
structors and his models. His principal work, 
the ^^Tachmonite,'' is not exactly a translation 
or imitation of their Hariri, though written in 
the style of the Arabian poet. The " Tach- 
monite" contains fifty sections, partly prose 
and partly verse, in the form of dialogues and 
discourses on the most varied subjects. Al 
Charisi wrote an interesting history of the art 
of poetry in Spain, with talented remarks on 
the style and writings of the different poets. 
With the opinion he passed on Judah Hallevi, 
we are already acquainted. His precepts 
of the art of versification are not less worthy 
of note. He recommends, in the first place, 
purity and severity of diction, not overgrown 
with a mixture of strange weeds, for which he 
blames the Grecian Jewish poets; regularity 
in versification ; unity and utility in the choice 
of a subject, and the manner of treating it ; 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW POETRY IN SPAIN. 805 

lastly, clearness of expression, "which is not 
to he fonnd among the French Jews, who 
need a commentator to explain their works." 
He desires the poet " not to puhlish immedi- 
ately to the world the finit of his talents, lest 
it should prove ahortive;" "neither must he 
give all he has to the puhlic, hut only the 
best.** Lastly, he must be popular in his 
language, and not write only for the learned, 
like Rabbi Salomon, who pleases only the 
latter, while ordinary readers cannot under- 
stand him." 

Al Charisi himself has obtained the reputa- 
tion of an excellent poet, principally for the 
poems inserted in the " Tachmonite ; " among 
others, the "dispute between the sword and 
the pen." He also practised as a physician ; 
and, like others of his countiymen, was a 
great traveller. 

The poetry of the Jews in the language of 
their forefathers had reached its height and 
also its decline in Spain by the end of the 
thirteenth century. It is true that this study 
was not entirely neglected by the Jews of 
the Peninsula, even after their expulsion ; but 
Hebrew poets of note arose no more among 
the Sephardim. It is remarkable, however, 
that shortly after the decline of this great 



Digitized by 



Google 



306 SPANISH POETRY AMONG THE JEWS. 

celebrity, poetical talent was revived among 
them, though in a lower d^ree of excellence^ 
and clothed in the ancient language of Gastile^ 
as early as the middle of the fourteenth cen- 
tury. Don Santo de Carrion, a rabbi con- 
verted to Christianity, was distinguished as 
one of the most famed troubadours of the 
age.* Many of his poems and discourses on 
religious and moral subjects remain in manu- 
script in the library of the Escurial ; among 
them are his " Counsels to the King," written 
for Don Pedro the Cruel, exhorting him to 
follow the example of his father and live a 
Christian life. He has given an account of 
his conversion, and of his faith in the doctrines 
of the Church, in the preface and introduction 
to his " Doctrina Christiana." 

At the beginning of the fifteenth century, 
and in the reign of John II. of Castile, a pas- 
sionate admirer of every kind of chivalrous 
exercise and of the poetical art, with which 
they were so closely connected, Juan Alonzo 
de Buena, secretary to that King, dedicated 
to him a collection of the songs, poems, and 
epigrams of the troubadours, both ancient and 
modem, among whom were reckoned Juan 
Alonzo himself and his brother, Francisco, 

* Rodriques de Castro^ Biblioth. Espag. 198—201. 



Digitized by 



Google 



SPANISH POETRY AMONG THE JEWS. 807 

both Convevsos. In this collection of f he 
ancient poetry of Castile there are poems 
written by Jews by religion as well as by 
birth, one of whom, named Don Moses, was 
surgeon to King Henry III. 

In later centuries we shall find Spanish 
poetry carried to some degree of perfection by 
the exiles of the Peninsula at Hamburgh, and 
in the Netherlands ; while in Spain and Por- 
tngal it was still cultivated by their descend- 
ants, either really converted to Christianity 
or concealed under its outward profession. 
Among these Jewish poets we may name 
Doctor Miguel de Silveira, who wrote, in the 
seventeenth century, an epic poem on Judas 
Maccabeus, in the style of Tasso and Camoens, 
The completely Christian style, however^ both 
of this and other smaller poems by the same 
author, give the impression that he may have 
belonged to the nation, but never to the 
religion, of the Jews. Duarte Diaz, of Porto, 
who lived at Antwerp, in the sixteenth 
century, a descendant of the ancient Jewish 
family of Aboab, and Antonio Henrico Gomez 
in the seventeenth, who showed great poetical 
talent both in Spanish and Portuguese, were 
professors of Judaism. The latter was, in 
France, made a knight of the order of Saint 



Digitized by 



Google 



808 CONVERTS TO CHEISTIANITY 

Michael, and became counsellor to Louis XIV., 
but he afterwards fell into the hands of the 
Inquisition in Spain, and seems to have been 
condemned to the flames for his Judaism, 
The same fate is said to have befallen Antonio 
de Sylva, one of the most ancient dramatic 
poets of the Peninsula. 

The details we have hitherto given concern- 
ing the social position of the Jews in the 
Peninsula, and their advancement in science, 
may have afforded some pleasure to the Chris- 
tian who loves Israel for their fathers' sakes, 
yet there is a mixture of bitterness in the 
thought, that these gifts, these talents, and 
these privileges, were enjoyed not only apart 
from any faitii in their true Messiah, but even 
in opposition to that faith. Their history in 
Spain happily offers some far brighter pages. 
It is worthy of note, that, while no country in 
the world used such violent and tyrannical 
measures to bring the Jews over to Christi- 
anity, neither did any other produce so many 
bright examples of sincere and undoubted 
conversion; no country has yet witnessed so 
numerous a body of devoted Christian Israel- 
ites ! Whatever may have been the cause of 
this effect, and whether perhaps in part owing^ 
to the greater equality of rank, and more fre- 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN SPAIN. 309 

quent intercourse between the members of the 
Church and those of the synagogue in Spain, 
it is certain that in no other country, either 
during the middle ages or even in our own 
time, have the words of the apostle (Rom. xi. 
6) been so fully realized; in the midst of 
Israel's rejection and hardness of heart there 
was always ^^ a remnant according to the elec- 
tion of grace." 

Among the sons of Israel who have con- 
fessed the Christian faith in Spain, and fought 
the good fight, either in the ranks of the 
Church or on the field of theology, one of the 
earliest examples is Julian, Bishop of Toledo, 
who flourished in the latter part of the seventh 
century, while the country was still under the 
dominion of the Goths, before the Saracen 
invasion.* Great praise is awarded to him by 
the historians of that period, especially for his 
writings and labours as a bishop. He took part 
in the great theological disputes of his time 
concerning the twofold will of Christ, a ques- 
tion on which this bishop, or rather the 

* *^£rat JulianttB eraditionis laade eft setate celebrig, 
ut €pu8 libri testantur. Fait ex Judaaorum sanguine prog- 
natua, Eagenii terdi disdpulus, Qoirini Toletani Pnesulia 
eucceflflor, ingenio fadli, copioso^ soavi, probitatis opinione 
singnlari."— Mariana, YL 18. 



Digitized by 



Google 



310 CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY 

Council of Toledo at which he presided, ex* 
pressed themselves quite independently of the 
Bishop of Rome.* He has left, as the fruit 
of his labours, several works ; a book written 
against the errors of Judaism, besides commen- 
taries, sermons, hymns, and sacred poetry, 
with a history of the wars of King Wamba. 
The life and praises of Julian were written by 
Bishop Telisc, his successor in the see of 
Toledo. 

Another Christian Israelite, of less elevated 
rank in the Church, Alvaras Faulus, of Cor* 
dova, flourished in the middle of the ninth 
century, and is principally known to us by his 
letter to a certain Eleazar, who had passed 
from Gentile idolatry to Judaism. When 
taking up the defence of the Christian faith, 
he confesses at once his own Jewish origin, 
and his belief that Messiah was already come, 
and then continues : — " Which of us has the 
most right to the name of Jew; you, who 
have passed from the worship of idols to the 
knowledge of one God, — or I, who am an 
Israelite both by birth and faith 1 Yet I no 
longer call myself a Jew, because that new 

* << Nobis (Juliani disputatio) aliquanto liberior visa 
est, quatn ut Juliani modestiam erga Bomanam pontificem 
summae EcdesisB rectorem, deceret." 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN SPAIN. 311 

name is given to me which the mouth of the 
Lord hath named ! Abraham is in truth my 
father, but not only because my ancestors pro- 
ceed from him. Those who have expected 
Messiah should come, but who also receive 
him because he is already come, are more 
truly Israelites than those who, after long 
waiting for him, rejected him when he came, 
and yet cease not to expect his coming." ♦ 

Babbi Samuel Jehudi, of Fez, in Morocco, 
affords another instance of sincere conversion 
to the Christian faith. An interesting letter 
of his remains to us, written originally in 
Arabic, and addressed to a Rabbi of the same 
country, named Dr. Isaac. This letter, of 
which a Latin version, made by the Dominican 
Alfonso de Buen Hombre, in 1329, has been 
repeatedly published, contains an ample refu- 
tation of Jewish objections to the Christian 
Ceiith, written in accordance with the views of 
that period. A Spanish translation of this 
letter still remains in manuscript in the library 
of the Escurial. Baptized in Spain soon after 
the taking of Toledo -by Alfonso VI., Babbi 
Samuel appears to have returned to Morocco, 
and there to have held a conference on religion 
with a learned Mahomedan, of which his ac* 
* Nic Antonio^ Bib. Vet Hisp. vi. 8. 



Digitized by 



Google 



312 CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY 

count, still in manuscript, is also to be found 
in the library of the Escurial.* 

To the eleventh century also belongs^ the 
birth of another Christian Israelite, who was 
afterwards distinguished for the testimony he 
bore to the truth and power of the Gospel. 
Sabbi Moses, of Huesca, in Arragon, was bom 
in the year 1062, and baptized in the year 
1106, King Alphonso I. standing as his 
sponsor, after whom and his brother and pre* 
decessor he was named, Pedro Alphonso. He 
afterwards wrote a defence of Christianity and 
a refutation of Jewish incredulity, in the form 
of a dialogue between Moses and Pedro 
Alphonso; this work is spoken of in high 
terms, and has since been of great use in 
Spain. We have also by him a ^* Disciplina 
Clericalis," under the title of " Proverbs," in 
which he seems to have borrowed from the 
Arabic writers, especially the tales and fables 
of Pilpay. 

Another learned and distinguished Israelite 
who received the Christian faith and made 
known in his writings the ground of his belief, 
was Babbi Abner, the physician, in the early 
part of the fourteenth century. While yet in 
communion with the synagogue, he wrote an 
* Nic Antonio, yii. 1. 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN SPAIN. 313 

explanation of Aben Ezra's treatise on the 
Ten Commandments. When converted to the 
Christian faith, he wrote a refutation of 
Kimchi's work against Christianity, known 
by the same title, " the Wars of the Lord." 
At the request of the Infanta Blanca, abbess 
of the Convent of Las Huelgas, at Burgos, he 
translated the work into Spanish. As a 
Christian, he is known by the name of 
Alphonso of Burgos, his native, city, or of 
Valladolid, where, until his death, in 1346, 
he filled the post of sacristan to the Cathe- 
dral.* 

Among the Jewish conversions recorded in 
the history of Spain, none are more worthy 
of interest than that of Babbi Salomon Levi, 
of Burgos, in the latter part of the fourteenth 
century. It is the more remarkable, because 

* Between Pedro Alphonso and Alphonso of Valla- 
dolid we might insert Petrus Julianus, surnamed the 
Spaniard, if we could be quite certain that he was reallj 
a Jew by birth or descent, of which, however, 1 only 
find mention made by one authority. This learned man 
first practised as a physician, then became Archbishop of 
Braga, and finally Pope, under the name of John XXT. . 
This Pope is known to have written several works on 
medicine. His reputation has been tarnished by the 
ill-will of the monkish orders, to whom he did not show 
much JEtvour. 



Digitized by 



Google 



314 PAUL OF BUBGOS AND HIS SONS. 

the blessing of his conversion seems to have 
rested upon his descendants for many genera- 
tions. The Babbi we have just mentioned, 
of the tribe of Levi, as his name, which was 
that of the whole family, denotes, was, until 
his fortieth year, a teacher among the Jews, 
eminent alike for his birth and learning. At 
that age he became acquainted with the writ- 
ings of Thomas Aquinas, whose treatise ^' De 
Legibus" made so deep an impression upon 
his mind that his national prejudices against 
Christianity fell to the ground, and he was 
enlightened by that Spirit from above which 
brought life and salvation to his soul. In the 
year 1392 he received Christian baptism, 
together with his four sons, then young chil- 
dren, but who all, in after-life, inherited their 
father's high character and great celebrity. 
His wife was already dead, but his mother and 
his brothers followed his example, by making 
public confession of their faith in the Savi- 
our.* From that moment, he devoted himself 
as assiduously to the study of Christian theo- 
logy as he had before done to that of the 

* From that time he bore the name of Paul, with the 
appellatioDS of Santa Maria^ in honour of the Yii^ ; of 
Burgos, after his native citj ; and of Carthagena, his 
first bishopric. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAUL OF BURGOS AND HtS SONS. 815 

Jews. He obtained the degree of Doctor of 
Divinity at Paris, and preached at Avignon, 
to a very numerous audience, in the presence 
of Peter de Luna, afterwards Benedict XIII., 
then one of the candidates for the Papacy. 
He was made Archdeacon of Burgos, Bishop 
of Carthagena, and lastly Bishop of Burgos, a 
dignity to which his son succeeded during his 
father's lifetime. While he was yet Bishop 
of Carthagena, his extraordinary talents, ex- 
tensive knowledge, and excellent judgment in 
matters of state completely gained the con- 
fidence of King Henry III., the Invalid. This 
King, who died young, appointed him by will 
to the office of High Chancellor, after the 
death of Don Pedro Lopes de Ayala, and 
entrusted to him the education of his son and 
successor, John II. Some time after the 
in&nt Ferdinand, uncle and guardian to the 
young king, being called to the throne of 
Arragon, before his departure appointed the 
Bishop of Burgos a member of the Council 
of Regency. He remained in the service of 
King John till the time of his death, in 1435, 
filling the same situation to which he had 
been appointed by King Henry. 

All Spanish historians and chroniclers are 
p 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



316 PAUL OF BURGOS AND HIS SONS. 

unanimous in their praises of this descendant 
of the house of Israel, both as a bishop and 
statesman. They generally style him the 
excellent, — " el varon excellente," and speak 
of him ^^ as a man able to govern his tongue, 
and in all ways well calculated to guide and 
advise kings." * Yet the cares of state never 
diminished his zeal, either for the duties of 
his pastoral office, or for that study of Holy 
Scripture, which had ever been the very life 
of his soul. His pastoral labours only ended 
with his life, for he was taken with the illness 
of which he died, in his eighty-third year, in 
a journey he made to visit the different 
churches of his diocese, though the bishopric 
itself had already passed to his son, Alphonso. 
His indefatigable activity as a student and 
expounder of Scripture is attested by his 
writings, of which two in particular deserve 
our notice; his '^Additions to the FostiUs 
of Nicholas de Lyra," f and his " Scrutinium 

* The noble kniglit and writer, Heman Perez de One- 
man, thus makes mention of him in his ** Generaciones de 
los excelentes Bejes de Espana." 

f The value of these additions is defended against the 
Franciscan Monk, Doring, by Richard Simon in his 
Historia Critica Vet. Test, III. 11. 



Digitized by 



Google 



/* 



PAUL OF BURGOS AND HIS SONS. 317 

Scripturarum." The latter is of the latest 
date, and contains, in the form of a dialogue 
between Paul and Saul, a refutation of Jewish 
objections to the Christian faith. 

The introduction, in which the venerable 
Bishop dedicates his work on the whole Bible, 
then completed, to his son, Don Alphonso of 
Garthagena, at that time Archdeacon of Com- 
postella, will afford us, in his own words, a 
better insight into his character and private 
feelings, than any account written by another. 
He thus writes: "What would you most 
wish, my dearly beloved son, that I should 
give you whilst I am alive, or leave as a legacy 
to you at my death \ What could be better, 
than to add to the knowledge you already 
possess of Holy Scripture, which will 
strengthen your feet in the path of a well- 
directed zeal for Christian truth? It is this 
which I bear in my heart, of which I make 
confession with my lips, and concerning which 
I understand the words of the prophet: * The 
father shall teach his children thy truth.' 
(Isa. xxxviii. 19.) 

" I was not myself thus taught in the days 
of my youth, but was brought up in Jewish 
blindness and incredulity; while learning 
Holy Scripture from unsanctified teachers, I 



Digitized by 



Google 



818 PAUL OF BURGOS AND HIS SONS. 

received erroneous opinions from erring meir, 
who cloud the pure letter of Scripture by 
impure inventions, as such teachers have been 
wont to do. But when it pleased Him whose 
mercies are infinite, to call me from darkness 
to light, and from the depth of the pit to the 
open air of heaven, the scales seemed as it 
were to fall from the eyes of my understanding, 
and I began to read Holy Scripture with my 
mind in part released from the bonds of pre- 
judice and unbelief. I began to seek for 
truth, no longer trusting to the power of my 
own intellect, but with a humbled spirit, pray* 
ing to God from the heart to make known to 
me what might be for the salvation of my 
soul. Day and night I sought help from 
Him, and thus it came to pass that my love 
for the Christian faith so much increased, 
that at length I was able openly to confess the 
belief which my heart had already received. 
Having then attained the age at which you 
now are, my son, I received the sacrament 
of Baptism, and was sprinkled with the holy 
water of the Church, receiving, at the same 
time, the name of Paul. You, my dear son, 
were then in the innocence of childhood, and 
received this purification at that tender age, 
while yet unsullied with the sins of riper 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAUL OF BUBOOS AND HIS SONS. 319 

years. You were baptized by the name of 
Alphonso before you could say your letters ! 

" Afterwards, as time passed on, I devoted 
myself yet more to the study of Holy Scrip- 
ture, reading both the Testaments, hearing 
the words of living teachers, and consulting 
the writings of holy men, our predecessors ; 
thus I, who was formerly a teacher of error, 
am become, by the grace of God, a learner of 
the truth, and have continued so to the great 
age I have now attained. I can say in truth 
that amid the pressure of worldly business, 
and the cares of my bishopric, which have 
occupied much of my time, there is no con- 
solation to be compared to that I have found 
in the contemplation of the Eternal God by 
the study of his holy and spotless Word. 

" I have also enjoyed what the world calls 
prosperity. In my utter unworthiness, God 
has raised me to high honours in his Church. 
Called first to the Bishopric of Carthagena, 
then raised to that of Burgos, I have been, so 
to speak, gifted with the choicest portions in 
the Church of God. To these have been also 
added other temporal advantages. With 
King Henry III., of glorious memory, and 
with his illustrious son, our present monarch, 
I have been on terms of familiar intercourse 



Digitized by 



Google 



820 PAUL OF BURGOS AND HIS SONS. 

whUe holding the office of Chancellor. How 
the goodness of God has also been manifest in 
his dealings with you and your elder brother, 
I need not recal to you. One circumstance, 
however, I cannot pass over in silence, — ^ihat 
to us, the descendants of Levi, have been ful- 
filled the promises written so many hundred 
years ago : * Wherefore there shall not be for 
the Levite a portion or inheritance among his 
brethren ; the Lord himself is his inheritance, 
as the Lord thy God hath said to him." 
(Deut X. 9.) Truly God himself is our in- 
heritance ! Christ is our portion ! who has said 
of old time, that he would cleanse the sons 
of Levi and purify them, and they shall be 
the Lord's, to present an offering in righte- 
ousness. He now allows us to present this 
offering, which he vnH not only look upon, 
but accept at our hands. It is not without 
a purpose that I have thus related to you the 
experience of my past life. It is useful and 
necessary you should know all the mercies of 
my God towards me, and a true and sincere 
memorial of them cannot be taxed with pride. 
To you, in particular, I address these recollec- 
tions, that what you have not seen with your 
eyes may yet be engraven on your memory as 
coming from the lips of your father, that in 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAUL OF BURQOS AND HIS SONS. 321 

3rour turn you may tell to those who are 
younger than you, and they to their descend- 
ants, not to forget the works of the Lord, nor 
cease fix>m the study of his holy Word." 

After giving some further explanation of 
the nature and use of the Fostills of Lyra, and 
his own additions to the work, he concludes 
his introduction with these words : ^* This, my 
dearly heloved son, is my testament to you, 
and let it also be your inheritance that the 
law of the Lord may be your delight, and that 
you may meditate day and night on his Word. 
This meditation will become more pleasant 
and delightful to you by reading such works. 
Accept, then, your father *s gift, offered with 
a father's tenderness and joy. And now it is 
enough. Having asked help of Almighty 
God, from whom, and in whom alone, is all 
wisdom, and having committed the work to 
him with humble prayer, let us lay our hand 
to the plough." 

The other work of the Bishop of Burgos, 
entitled " Examination of the Scriptures," is 
less extensive in compass, but equally in- 
teresting. He continued to labour at it in 
his old age, and had the satisfaction of finish- 
ing it a little before his death. We cannot 
here admit quotations from this work, chiefly 
p 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



822 PAUL OF BURGOS AND HIS SOKS. 

intended to bring conviction to his former 
coreligionists, and for that purpose filled with 
striking passages in support of the Christian 
faith, quoted from rabbinical writers, giving 
their views of the person, the distinguishing 
characteristics, and the promised kingdom of 
the Messiah. He also expresses, very clearly, 
his own views concerning the future restora* 
tion of Israel, taken from the Prophecies, an 
expectation which has never been quite lost 
sight of in the Romish Church. " As for the 
remnant of Israel," he says, ^^ which shall 
remain at the coming of Christ, we firmly 
believe that when the delusion of Antichrist 
has been made manifest, they will turn in 
truth to the Messiah, and for his sake endure 
much persecution, continuing to the end sted- 
fast in the faith. This is what was written 
by the apostle in Romans xi.: ^All Israel 
shall be saved ; ' and by the Prophet Hosea : 
^ The children of Israel shall abide many days 
without king, and without prince, and without 
sacrifice, and without statute, and without 
ephod or teraphim. After which the children 
of Israel shall be converted and seek the Lord 
their God and David their king ; ' or, as the 
Chaldee paraphrase expresses it, 'And they 
shall obey Messiah the son of David, their 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAUL OF BURGOS AND HIS SONS. 323 

king.' Thus at last shall the whole oation of 
Israel be brought to the faith in Christ." 

The four sons of Paul of Burgos, bom 
before his baptism and ordination, each in- 
herited a share of their father's celebrity and 
high character. They are known in the 
history of the kingdoms of Spain by the names 
of Don Alphonso de Garthagena, Don Gonzalo 
de Santa Maria, Alvar Garcia de Santa Maria, 
and Pedro de Carthagena. 

Don Alphonso was for many years Arch- 
deacon of Compostella, and being equally dis- 
tinguished as a statesman and pastor, he was 
afterwards made Bishop of Burgos, in the room 
of his father. He took his seat at the Council 
of Basle, in 1431, as a representative of Castile, 
and was treated with high honour, on account 
of his great talents and distinguished ex- 
cellence. jEneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope 
Pius II., called him in his memoirs, ''an 
ornament to the Prelacy." Pope Eugenius IV., 
learning that the Bishop of Burgos was about 
to visit Rome, declared in ftiU conclave "that 
in presence of such a man he felt ashamed 
to be seated in Peter's chair." Spanish 
historians unanimously agree in representing 
the son as a worthy representative of his 
excellent father. He is also known to pos- 



Digitized by 



Google 



324 PAUL OF BUROOS AND HIS SONS. 

terity by his writings, some of which have 
been published, while some are said still to 
remain in manuscript in the Chapel of Bui^s, 
where he was buried. Those which have seen 
the light may by their titles give some idea of 
the bent of his studies, and the variety of 
knowledge which he attained. They are, — "A 
Chronicle of the Kings of Spain ; " a treatise 
of Christian morality, entitled " Instruction for 
Knights, and Memorials of Virtue," written 
both in Latin and Spanish, and dedicated to 
Prince Edward, afterwards King of Portugal ; 
'^ Juridical Memoirs on the right of the 
Kings of Castile to the Canary Islands ; *' 
translations into Spanish of some books of 
Seneca and Cicero; translations from the 
Arabic ; a Commentary on the 26th Psalm ; 
and a Homily on Prayer, in reply to a letter 
on that subject addressed to him by the noble 
and Christian knight, Heman Perez de 
Guzman, an intimate friend of the venerable 
Bishop, whom he loved as a father, and at 
whose death, in 1456, he expressed his grief in 
some stanzas full of feeling and poetry. 

Don Gonzalo de Santa Maria also rose to 
distinction in the Church. He was deputed 
from Arragon to the Council of Constance in 
1416; was made Bishop of Plaoentia, and 



Digitized by 



Google 



PAUL OF BUaOOS AND HIS SONS. 325 

after^vards of Siguenza, which dignity he held 
till his death, in 1448. He was distinguished, 
like his brother, for his talents and piety. 

The third brother, Alvar de Santa Maria, 
has become very generally known by his his- 
torical writings. He was first secretary to the 
young King of Castile, John II., but after- 
wards left him to accompany his uncle, Don 
Ferdinand, when called to the throne of 
Arragon, where he continued high in the 
favour of that excellent monarch. He wrote 
the '* Chronicles of John II., to the year 
1420," a work which was afterwards continued 
by Juan de Menia, and ended by the knight 
Perez de Guzman. 

Until near the close of the eighteenth 
century, the family of the excellent Bishop of 
Burgos still preserved in Spain the rank and 
high esteem which their ancestors formerly 
obtained. The family was perpetuated by the 
descendants of the fourth son, many of whom 
intermarried with nobility of high rank 
in the country. Pedro de Carthagena dis- 
tinguished himself as a knight and warrior. 
While a member of the municipality of Burgos, 
he had more than once the honour of enter- 
taining royal guests in his magnificent abode, 
especially the Infanta Dona Blanca, of Arragon, 



Digitized by 



Google 



326 PAUL OF BURGOS AND HI8 SONS. 

on her marriage with the heir of Castile, after- 
wards Henry IV. In the chronicles of John 
II. he is first mentioned on the occasion of 
a tonmament, held in presence of the King, at 
which he gained the prize, in jonsting with the 
most celebrated knights of the day. He is 
mentioned afterwards among the valorous 
knights who distinguished themselves at the 
battle of Granada, 1431, under the command 
of the Count de Haro.* A son of Pedro of 
Carthagena, named Alvar, after his uncle, was, 
like his &ther, a valiant warrior. He lost his 
life in one of the numerous civil wars, caused 
by the dissensions of the nobles during the 
turbulent reign of Henry IV. The Cartha- 
genas were then taking the part of the Ve« 
lascos. Counts of Haro, their ancient allies, 
against the Manricos, Counts of Trevino.f 

When Rabbi Salomon, afterwards Bishop 
Paul of Burgos, hadembracedand waspreaching 
the Christian faith in Spain, one of his former 
coreligionists. Rabbi Joshua de Lorca, in 
Mercia, took pen in hand to oppose his views. 
But soon this zealous enemy of the Gospel be- 

* Cronica del Rey Don Juan el S^undo. (Pampeluna, 
1590.) Anno xxv. cap. 48, &c 

f Cronica del Rey Enrique el Quarto por su Capellan 
y Cronista Diego Enriques del Castillo. Cap. 151. 



Digitized by 



Google 



DB. JEROME OF SANTA FE, ETC. 327 

came himself an ardent confessor of the truth, 
according to the measure of light enjoyed hy 
the Church in Spain. Eabhi Joshua, who at 
his baptism took the name of Jerome of Santa 
F^, failed not to declare openly the reason 
which had given rise to this change in his 
religious opinions, by publishing two ^^ Tracts 
against the Jews/'* 

The publication of this controversy was 
partly called forth by an event of some con* 
sequence in the history of the respective re- 
lations of the Jews and Christians in the 
Peninsula. I mean the celebrated conference 
between Jewish and Christian theologians, held 
in the years 1413-14, in the city of Tortosa, 
in Arragon. The conference was proposed 
and the assembly convened by Pope Benedict 
XIII., at the instigation of the converted Tal- 
mudist, Dr. Jerome of Santa F6, who, after 
his baptism, entered the service of the Pope, 
being appointed his physician. Both Jewish 
and Christian historians give a detailed account 
of this conference ; and, though it is natural 
they should differ in their views of the subject 
discussed, as well as in the result of the dispu- 

* To be met with in the '^ Bibliotheca Magna 
Veterom Patrum," and " Antiqa. Scriptorum." 



Digitized by 



Google 



828 THE CONFERENCE AT TORTOSA. 

tation, they agree very nearly in asserting the 
following particulars ;♦ — 

The Congress was opened by the Pope 
in person, attended by the Cardinals and 
clergy of all ranks, and remained sitting there 
for more than twenty-one months. In this 
lime they held sixty-nine meetings, during 
which both sides joined in discussing the great 
question, ^^Is Jesus, called of Nazareth, who was 
bom at Bethlehem in the latter days of King 
Herod, forty years before the destruction of 
the second temple, who was crucified, and 
died at Jerusalem, really the true Messiah, 
foretold by the prophets of the Old Testa- 
ment?" 

The discussion was carried on by arguments 
drawn from Scripture, as well as from the 
Paraphrases and Commentaries of the Jews. 
On the Christian side, there was with the 
Doctor of Santa Fe, who opened the Assembly 

* We find the account given by the Christians of this 
meeting in Zurita's ^^Anales de Aragon," torn. iii. foL 
108, 109 ; in Rodrigues de Castro's '' Bibliotheca Rab- 
binica," i. pp. 203 — 227. The Jewish accounts were 
chiefly written by Rabbi Salomon Ben Verga, in his 
" Sceptrum Judee." A narrative of the whole by Dr. 
Jerome of Santa Fk is said to have remained in MS. in 
the library of the Escurial. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE CONFERENCE AT TORTOSA. 329 

with a speech, and subsequently took an active 
part in the discussion, another converted Jewish 
teacher, well skilled in Hebrew and Chaldee, 
named Andreas Beltran, a native of Valencia, 
at that time Almoner to the Pope, and after- 
wards made Bishop of Barcelona. Among a 
numerous body of clergy was Garcia Alvares 
de Alarcon, especially famed for his knowledge 
of the Hebrew language and theology. On 
the Jewish side were Babbi Zarachia the 
Levite, Don Todros de Huesca, Don Joseph 
Ben Addereth, Don Istroc, or Astruc, the 
Levite, Rabbi Moses Ben Mosa, Rabbi Joseph 
Albo, Rabbi Ferrer, and Don Vidal Ben- 
venista, who was the principal champion of his 
party, as Dr. Jerome was on the Christian 
side. The result of this conference is passed 
over by Jewish historians with remarkable 
silence. According to the Christians, all the 
Rabbins declared themselves vanquished, and 
signed an act to that effect, with the exception 
of Rabbi Albo and Rabbi Ferrer. 

In consequence of this decisive victory, a 
vast multitude of Israelites were added to the 
Church, which they entered by families and 
by synagogues. But the glory of this event 
was tarnished by the intolerant and harsh 
edicts which the Church of Rome thought fit 



Digitized by 



Google 



330 THB CONFEBENCE AT T0RT08A. 

to pronounce against those Jews who could not 
be brought by persuasion to embrace the 
Christian faith or to adopt its forms. 

It was not to the conference of Jewish and 
Christian theologians at Tortosa allone that 
Castile and Arragon were indebted £ot so 
great a number of converts, many of whom 
sincerely received the Christian faith, while all 
professed obedience to the Church of Eome. 

Some years before, the exemplary zeal of a 
Dominican monk had led him to preach the Gos- 
pel in Spain, both to the Jews and Mahometans ; 
and the Word of God, declared in the midst 
of the synagogue and among the people, with- 
out threats of fire or sword, had been crowned 
with incredible success. To the devoted piety 
and great talents of Vincent Ferrar testi- 
mony is borne, alike by Protestant writers* 
and those of the Komish Church ; the success 
that attended his efforts was equal to the zeal 
he evinced while visiting the Churches of 
England, Ireland, France, and Italy. It is 
said that in Spain eight thousand Mahometans, 
and more than thirty thousand Jews were 
brought, by his preaching, to the knowledge 



* Milner's "ffistory of the Church of Christ.*' 
Cent. XV. ch. 4. 



Digitized by 



Google 



NUMEROUS CONVERSIONS, ETC. 331 

of the truth, an event celebrated in history as 
a cause of national rejoicing.* 

It may well be imagined that all these cour 
versions were not well grounded and sincere. On 
the contrary, a marked and abiding difference 
became afterwards more and more manifest be- 
tween the Converses for many generations. We 
may divide the baptized Jews' and their de- 
scendants into three classes. 1st. Those who 
in truth, and with all their heart, received the 
Christian faith, or, brought up in that religion 
by parents of Jewish origin, ended by be- 
coming really attached to it. 2dly. Those 
who from purely worldly motives, and without 
sincere love for either faith, made use of any 
occasion that presented itself to escape from 
the oppressed condition of the Jew, and enter 
the brilliant career opened to them by a pro- 
fession in conformity with the doctrines of the 
reigning Church. 3dly. Those who, under com- 
pulsion of persecution, or on the impulse of the 
moment, made a profession of Christianity, while 
they practised in secret the rites of Judaism, and 
handed down its tenets to their posterity. 

* la un& Hispanic Maurorum octo millia, JudiBorum 
triginta quinque millia nomina Chrbto dederunt : ac 
pnesertim Palentis in Yaccaeis multo maxima Judseonim 
pars Christiana sacra suscepit, Sanctro Rogio ejus urbis 
EpisoopaPublicaexiis rebus Itetitia, etc. — Mariana, xix. 13. 



Digitized by 



Google 



332 NUMEROUS CONVERSIONS, ETC. 

Whatever may have been the cause, from 
that time the Christian population of Spain, 
especially of the upper classes, was swelled by 
a great influx of Jewish families and their 
descendants, — a remarkable event, the conse- 
quences of which have since been apparent in 
many ways, and have continued so, even to our 
time, in that country. We shall soon have 
occasion to take a dark and distressing view of 
this fact, but we have first a few words more 
to say upon the brighter side. 

There is no doubt but that these forced and 
feigned conversions, as well as the worldly 
conduct of many who had willingly embraced 
Christianity, became, both to the Jews them- 
selves, and to a large portion of the Spanish 
population, a source of great and increasing 
misery. And yet we must not on that account 
close our eyes to the excellence of other con- 
versions; I mean of those whose sincerity 
furnished to Spain, even after the establish- 
ment of the Inquisition, many interesting and 
bright examples, both in the offices of Church 
and State. 

Paul of Burgos and his sons are not by any 
means the only sons of Israel whose services, 
talents, and virtue, adorn the annals of Spain. 
We shall notice in later times some dis- 
tinguished statesmen of Jewish birth who have 



Digitized by 



Google 



DISTINGUISHED PRELATES, ETC. 333 

obtained high &me in their own countiy, and 
been the founders of some of the most illustri- 
ous Christian families in the Peninsula. 

In the annals of the fifteenth and the early 
part of the sixteenth century many Converses 
and their descendants are named as having 
distinguished themselves by their excellence 
among the different ranks and degrees of the 
clergy. None are more highly spoken of than 
the Cardinal Don Juan de Torquemada* and 
the Dean of Toledo, Don Francisco, afterwards 
Bishop of Coria, who were looked upon as the 
ornaments of their country and century. Both 
were Castilians by birth, — one from Burgos, 
the other from Toledo; both were high in 
esteem at Home, and valued by their own 
sovereigns, who employed them in various im- 
portant embassies, and appointed them to 
posts of responsibility, both in the Church and 
State ; both, also, but especially Torquemada, 
were the authors of different works on subjects 
of general interest, and also on theology. They 
were equally remarkable for the purity of their 
life and conduct, their zeal in the duties of 
their ofBlce, and for a fear of God in the heart, 

* This Cardinal Torquemada must not be confounded 
with the famous Dominican, Don Thomas de Torquemada, 
so well known as the first Inquisitor-General in Spain. 



Digitized by 



Google 



334 DISTINGUISHED PRELATES 

which led to the observance of all his com- 
mandments in their relations with men. Lastly, 
both exerted themselves in the cause of their 
Israelitish brethren converted to the faith, 
against the injustice of the clergy and the 
prejudices of the multitude, who sought to 
exclude them from any participation in the 
dignities of the Church or State. 

All the really pious and enlightened clergy 
sided with these two excellent Israelites in 
repressing every manifestation of ill-will 
against the Jews and Converses. Among 
them was Alonzo de Oropessa, the celebrated 
Superior of the Hieronymites, an upright, 
moderate man, who sought to guard by 
severity against feigned conversions, while he 
upheld with kindness and impartiality the 
cause of true converts to Christianity, by 
screening them from persecution and unjust 
exclusion. 

In the footsteps of Torquemada and his 
cotemporaries followed other bishops and pre- 
lates of the same descent We may mention 
the names of Don Alonso de Valladolid, and 
Don Alonso de Palenzuela, both in turn 
Bishops of Ciudad Rodrigo, vrith another 
pious and eminent prelate of his time, Don 
Juan Ortega, of Malvenda, Bishop of Coria, 



Digitized 



by Google 



OF JEWISH ORIGIN. 335 

and a near relation of Paul of Burgos, of 
whom is related in the chronicles of Ferdinand 
and Isabella,* that be was almost compelled 
by force to accept this dignity, in 1482, — so far 
was he from seeking anything beyond a life of 
tranquil and unnoticed piety. 

Many converted Jews or their descendants 
are mentioned in the same century as zealous 
reformers of the religious orders, especially 
Malvenda, who belonged to one of them 
before he was raised to the Episcopate. 

There were, however, some sad exceptions 
to the remarks we have just made. Bishops 
and other members of the clergy of Jewish 
birth and descent having undoubtedly intro- 
duced dangerous errors, and held in secret 
pernicious heresies. 

One grievous and remarkable instance is 
brought before us in a trial by the Ecclesi- 
astical Court, of which we will give a brief 
sketch. Gonzalvo Alonso, a Jew, baptized in 
consequence of the preaching of Vincent 
Ferrar, was promoted to high dignity in the 
Church, as well as his two sons, one of whom, 
Don Alonzo, was made Archbishop of Mon- 
treal, in Sicily; the other, Don Pedro de 

* Hernando des Falgar, Cronica de los Senores Cato- 
lioos Don Fernando j Dona IsabdL 



Digitized by 



Google 



336 PRELATES OF JEWISH ORIGIN. 

Aranda, Bishop of Calahorra ; the latter was 
also named President of the Council of Castile, 
in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella (1482), 
on account of his great political and legisla- 
tive talents. Ten years afterwards, he was 
engaged by the Inquisition in a double suit: 
first, on account of his father, whom that 
tribunal declared to have returned in secret 
to Judaism, and whose property it therefore 
laid claim to, according to existing regulations. 
The other suit related to the Bishop himself 
who was accused of perverting the Christian 
religion by errors inclining towards Judaism, 
to introduce which he had employed all kinds 
of machinations, and even called Councils in 
his own diocese. He appealed to the Pope, 
and went in person to Rome, where he met 
with a most favourable reception. He cleared 
the memory of his father from the accusations 
of the Inquisition, and was appointed Major- 
domo to Pope Alexander YI., who sent him 
as his ambassador to the Republic of Venice. 
When, however, the trial for heresy, of which 
he had been accused^ was put by the Pope 
into the hands of a Committee of Ecclesiastics, 
the result, after the examination of a hundred 
and one witnesses cited by the Bishop, was, 
his condemnation to perpetual imprisonment 



Digitized by 



Google 



PRELATES OF JEWISH EXTRACTION. 337 

in the Castle of St Angelo, where he soon 
after died. Though liorente* tries to defend 
him, yet his admissions, with other details 
from Mariana and Zurita, tend to prove that 
the Bishop of Calahorra was in truth a con* 
cealed Jew. 

The immense accession of converts and their 
descendants, allied to the old Christians by 
the ties of marriage and relationship, excited 
fresh movements and disturbances among the 
people, especially the lower classes. The 
riches and privileges of the Jews, when bap. 
tized, were not less intolerable than those of 
unbaptized Jews in the eyes of a multitude 
who looked upon the greater number of the 
Converses — often, alas I with truth — as unbe* 
lievers, who aggravated the crime of their 
enmity to Christians and Christianity by the 
added guilt of dissimulation. Thence arose 
seditions, pillage, and reciprocal murders, not 
only between Jew and Christian, but hence- 
forth between Jew and Christian and Con- 
versos. Thence sprung associations of a 
religious nature in the midst of the political 
Actions which already distracted the feeble 
and unhappy reign of Henry lY., of Castile 
(1454—1474). All these together seemed 
« Histoiie de lOnqiiisitioc, i., 267r*269r 
Q 



Digitized by 



Google 



338 BEIGN OF FERDINAND 

ready to plunge the kingdom into a 6tiU 
deeper chaos of disorder, — when all at once 
the succession of Isabella, the sister of Heiury, 
to the throne, gave to Castile fresh life and 
vigour. 

It was a striking manifestation of God's 
providence which, just as the Castiliau mon- 
archy was sinking into a state of irretrievable 
anarchy, raised up the high-souled woman 
to whom the whole monarchy of Spain owes 
its greatest period of splendour. Almost 
against his wiU, but guided by his ppwerful 
favourite, Don Alvar de Luna, King John II. 
had contracted a second marriage with the 
Infanta Isabella, daughter of the Grand 
Master, Don John of Portugal, one of the 
sons of John I., of that country. This mar- 
riage soon proved fatal in its eflfects to Don 
Alvar, who had recommended it ; for, having 
excited the displeasure of the new Queen, he 
fell into disgrace with the King, and ended 
his days on the scaffold. By this second mar« 
riage King John II. had two children, aa 
in&nt named Alfonso, born 1451, and an in- 
&nta, afterwards the celebrated Queen Isabella., 

The childhood and youth of the futuxe 
Queen were spent in neglect and retirement. 
King !Qexiry necessarily looked with suspicioxi 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND ISABELLA. 339 

upon the o&pring of his fiither's second mar- 
riage, — a feeling increased by the numerous 
outbreaks and disturbances raised by those 
who were discontented with his government 
A powerful party among the nobility placed 
the young Alfonso at their head, and pro* 
claimed his title to the throne; they were, 
however, completely defeated, near Olmeda, 
in 1466, when he lost the throne he had 
usurped, and, soon after, his life (1468). His 
party then offered the succession to his sister^ 
the young Isabella, but in vain. Yet her 
refusal gained her no fstvour with her royal 
brother. On the contrary, the distance be- 
tween them was increased, when, in 1469, the 
In&nta made her choice among the princes 
who sought her hand, and married her cousin^ 
Don Ferdinand, son and heir of John 11., ot 
Arragon, against the will of the King. New 
parties were still formed in Castile to dispute 
the succession to the throne. In the differ* 
ences that then arose between the partisans of 
the daughter of Henry lY., Dona Johanna, 
and those of the King's sister, Isabella, the 
great majority of the nobles and of the people 
declared themselves in favour of the couple 
already esteemed and loved by all, whq have 
since gained so great a name in history undet; 
Q 2 ' 



Digitized by 



Google 



340 REIQN OF FERDINAND 

the title of '* Reyes Catolicos," the Catholic 
sovereigns. 

Their accession to the throne at the death 
of Henry IV«, in 1474, was the commence- 
ment of a long course of prosperity for their 
country. King Alphonso V., of Portugal, 
who had declared himself the champion of 
Dona Johanna, that he might secure the 
crown to himself by a marriage with that 
princess, lost, after the battle of Tore, all 
hopes of effecting this scheme, and was com- 
pelled to sign a treaty of peace, confirming 
Isabella's right to the throne which she then 
occupied. Castile was soon fortified and ren- 
dered formidable to her enemies, both within 
and without the Peninsula, by the success of 
her arms. Her inward power was also greatiy 
increased by tne wisdom of a Government 
which could appreciate, encourage, and ap- 
propriate, all the available resources of the 
country, both iu material riches, and in moral 
and intellectual greatness. 

Beciprocal strength and advantage accrued 
to CastUe and Arragon from the union of the 
two crowns under such eminent princes as 
Ferdinand and Isabella.. The interior govern- 
ment throughout their dominions was soon 
simplified and upheld by a rare admixture of 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND ISABELLA. 341 

mildness and decision. The nobility, whose 
chivalrous bearing was more than ever re* 
spected, and incited to great and noble deeds, 
were thus rendered incapable of injuring the 
Royal power. They were thus also prevented 
from mutually destroying and weakening one 
another, as they had done during the innumer* 
able feuds which arose between the great 
families of the kingdom before the accession 
of Isabella, and which had almost unpeopled 
Castile and Andalusia. The great men who 
flourished in this the golden age of Spain, 
found in fidelity and devotion to their King 
and Queen a common rallying point against 
enemies from abroad, and the unbelieving 
Moslem within the Peninsula. No names in 
the whole history of Spain are more illustrious 
than those whose renown formed, as it were, 
part of the government of Ferdinand and 
Isabella ; as, for instance, that of the great 
captain and conqueror of the Moors in Spain 
and the French in Italy, Gonzalvo Fernandez, 
of Cordova, with others of the illustrious 
families of the Guzmans, anciently of Gothic 
origin ; — the Toledos, dukes of Alva, sprung 
from a royal stock among the Arabs ; — the 
Arias, of Avila, of Israelitish descent;* and 
♦ Diego Arias, Treasurer and Secretary to Henry IV. 



Digitized by 



Google 



842 REION OF FERDINAND 

the Henricos and Arragons, princes of the 
same blood as their sover^gns. Among the 
illustrious personages who surrounded the 
throne, distinguished alike by noble birth and 
high personal merit, we find six sons of Don 
Inigo Lopes de Mendoza, Marquis of Santil- 
lane, equally renowned in his day as a warrior 
and a man of letters. One of his sons, Don 
Pedro Gbnsales de Mendoza, was Archbishop 
of Toledo, often called the " Great Cardmal," 
and sometimes, on account of his political 
wisdom and powerful influence in the affairs 
of state under Ferdinand and Isabella, ^^ the 
third sovereign of Castile." He was suc- 
ceeded in the Archbishopric, as well as in the 
confidence of the King, by Cardinal Ximenes, 
so well known in history for his vigorous 
regency of Castile during the minority of 

was one of those Jews who, in the coarse of the fifteenth 
century, asked for, and received, haptism hj hundreds. 
One of his sons, made Bishop of Segovia, was more 
inclined to act as a turbulent statesman and soldier, than 
as a virtuous prelate. When troubled by the Inquisition, 
he escaped all persecution bj an appeal to Borne, where 
he ended his days. From a brother of this Bishop, 
Pedro Arias d'Avila, and his two sons, Pedro and Juan, 
descended a family, who, as well as the three we have 
named, were, from father to son, distinguished for their 
warlike and heroic exploits. 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND ISABELLA. 343 

Charles V. He was, like his predecessor, 
Mendoza, a man of extraordinary talents, pos* 
sessing, perhaps, greater power and strength 
of mind, hut less of generosity and open- 
heartedhess. 

The wise government of the Catholic so- 
vereigns enabled them to show honour to, and 
at the same time keep in subjection, all the 
distinguished characters among the chief 
nobility and high dignitaries of the Church* 
But the influence of the same government was 
not less salutary in its effects on the middle 
classes and the people in general. Measures 
Vrere taken to protect and encourage industry 
and commerce. Learning and science was 
more than ever esteemed and cultivated. 
Taking example from the Queen, who both 
iread and wrote in Latin, many of the chief 
nobility applied themselves to the study of the 
classics. A son of the Duke of Alva gave 
lectures on Greek at the academy of Sala- 
manca ; and a son of the Count de Far6des 
did the same at Alcala of Henarez. Don 
Ferdinand de Velasco explained Pliny and 
Ovid; Dona Lucia de Medram became an 
instructress in classical literature; while the 
Marquis of Den^a, even in his sixtieth year, 
became a learner. 



Digitized by 



Google 



344 REION OF FERDINAND AND ISABELLA. 

For Europe, as well as for the whole of 
Christendom, a new epoch was then ahout to 
commence. The art of printing had been 
invented,* and its power had spread far and 
wide; the Reformation was on the point of 
dawning, and the taking of Constantinople by 
the Turks in 1453 became, under God's 
guidance, a means of spreading fresh light 
over Christendom. Spain, under the dominion 
of Ferdinand and Isabella, was in the foremost 
rank of civilization and advancement among 
the European powers. To that country the 
world was soon after indebted for three of the 
striking events which mark the close of the 
Middle Ages. The discovery of a new way to 
the East Indies, first attempted by Vasco de 
6ama, — the conquest of Granada, and final 
destruction of Mahomedan power in Spain by 
Ferdinand and Isabella, — and the discovery of 

* One of the most important productions of the press in 
the beginning of the sixteenth century was the Complu* 
tensian Poljglott, printed at the expense and under the 
superintendence of Cardinal Ximenes at Alcala of 
Henarez. For the Hebrew text of this edition we are 
indebted to three learned Jews, who had in their earlj 
jouth received Christian baptism. Their names were, 
Paul Coronel, Alfonso of Zamora, and Alfonso of 
Alcala. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CHARACTER OF QUEEN ISABELLA. 345 

America by Christopher C!olumbus, 'in their 
service. 

Of all the noble deeds, great undertakings, 
and astonishing discoveries which laid the 
foundation of the powerful Austro-Spanish 
empire, Isabella, rather than Ferdinand, was 
the soul. The King at her side, guided by the 
lofty genius of the Queen, was by no means so 
devoid of talents as some historians have 
represented. What he was when left to him- 
self, without his high-souled wife, is manifest 
in his acts and his whole life after her decease^ 
Both the power and brilliancy of their reign 
was, without doubt, owing to Isabella. History 
has long ago recognised and paid homage to 
the excellence of her character : but until the 
present century, when the position of Spain 
under the Catholic sovereigns* has been so 
prominently brought forward, full justice had 
not been done to her. Beloved and looked up 
to by all, the powerful influence of her noble 
mind and energetic example acted with a 
vivifying force upon the nation, the army, 
and the whole court, as well as upon the 
King himself and her own immediate circle. 

♦ See Prescotfs ** Ferdinand and Isabella; " and Don 
Diego Clemencia's '*£^ogio de la Beina Catolica Dona 
Isabel'' Madrid, 1821. 

a 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



846 CHARACTER OF QT7E1N ISABELLA; 

Delighting in all that was great and chiyalroni, 
and gifted with the talents needful to carry 
out her noble ideas, she united with royal 
grandeur a woman's amiability in the fullest 
and best sense of the expression. Nothing 
that was unbecoming or unhandsome found 
fiivour in her eyes because of its expediency. 
Valiant in war, and severe in the execution of 
justice, she was yet of a most tender and 
compassionate disposition, which led her to 
oppose, though inefEectually, the national en- 
thusiasm for bull-fights, and even for tourna- 
ments, when they caused the blood of brave 
men to flow for mere amusement. Without in 
any degree departing from a queenly dignity, 
she treated her subjects and attendants with 
the greatest possible affability on every oc- 
casion. Simple in her tastes and habits, she 
tried, as far as her high position allowed, to 
carry out this taste in her dress and domestic 
arrangements. True Christian piety, as far as 
the age and Church to which she belonged 
allowed, was the ruling principle of both her 
public and private life. From it she found 
strength and courage in times of adversity as 
well as prosperity. The glory of God, by the 
maintenance and propagation of the Church 
on earth, formed the main object of her politi- 



Digitized by 



Google 



GAAftACTAR OP OUfiBN tSABBLLA. 347 

cal undertakings at home and abroad. With 
the purest of motives she erred in a way that 
must ever be deplored in the application and 
choice of means. The unity, which with much 
li^isdom and energy she had effected in tem- 
poral afiSedrs, and had caused to centre in the 
throne of the. Catholic sovereigns, she thought 
it equally possible and incumbent upon her to 
^tablish and maintain in spiritual things 
throughout the Church of Christ upon earth« 
A sad but inevitableconsequenceof the teaching 
of that Church, which seeks for unity and the 
assurance of a future state, not at the right 
hand of God in those high places where Christ 
liveth and reigneth, but in the city upon seven 
hills, where is set up the dominion of the man of 
sin ! Fatal error ! leading by necessary induction 
to the Antichristian measure of carrying on with 
fire and sword what God has declared to be the 
work of his Holy Spirit. This same error, 
which in after-times deprived Philip II., Isa- 
bella's great nephew, of the Low Countries, 
and took from Louis XIV. all his Protestant 
subjects, now tore the very vitals of Spain, 
debased the character of its inhabitants, and 
opened an inexhaustible source, not only of 
superstition, but of infidelity, in the midst of 
its population for centuries after. The king- 



Digitized by 



Google 



348 CHABACTBB OF QUEBN ISABBtLA. 

doms of Spain owe to the noble and hig^ 
minded Isabella two events which almost 
entirely tarnish the lustre of the great benefits 
£or which they are indebted jto her gloriona 
reign. These were, the introdaction of the 
Inquisition and the expulsion of the Jews. 
The aim of the latter was to deliver Spain 
from the incredulity of the unbaptized Jews ; 
that of the former, to guard against the 
ftpostasy of those who were baptized. Both 
entirely failed in accomplishing their end, after 
shedding torrents of blood and inflicting in- 
calculable suffering. 

Yet Ferdinand, and especially Isabella, were 
far from that Pagan hatred of the Jewish race 
so frequently met with where zeal for the 
Church and religion is entirely wanting, 
Isabella befriended the Jews as a nation, not 
only with a desire to win them to the Christian 
faith, but also because of the ancient ties which 
had subsisted between her&thersand the Jewish 
families established from time immemorial in 
Spain. She herself had Israelitish blood in 
her veins, by her descent in the female line 
from John I. of Portugal, whose mother was a 
daughter of Israel. The kings who had pre- 
ceded Ferdinand and Isabella had always been 
surrounded by Israelites in the capacity of 



Digitized by 



Google 



QUEEN ISABELLA AKD THE JEWS. 349 

physicians, treasurers, learned men, and minis* 
ters of state ; individuals of that nation had 
many times rendered service and proved their 
fidelity to Queen Isabella and her husband. 
Don Abraham Senior, in a moment when their 
succession was doubtful, had exerted himself 
with so much energy on their behalf, that 
when a great diminution of favours and 
pensions was decreed, he was among the few 
to whom a continuation of his pension was 
consid^ed due. 

The celebrated Rabbi Don Isaac Abarbanel, 
of whom we shall speak hereafter, long enjoyed 
the confidence of the Catholic sovereigns. 
They were at all times surrounded by nu- 
merous Converses. In the reign of John II., 
the father of Isabella, one of the most eminent 
statesmen mentioned in all chronicles and 
histories was Don Ferdinand Diaz de 
Toledo, a converted Jew, whose son, Don 
Pedro de Toledo, in the reign of Isabella, was 
first Archdeacon of the Archbishopric of 
Toledo, and afterwards, when Malaga was 
taken from the Moors in 1489, he was con- 
sidered the fittest person to appoint as its first 
Bishop. Among the immediate attendants at 
Court we find also Fernando del Pulgar, 
secretary and chronicler to the Queen ; Alonso 



Digitized by 



Google 



960 QUEEN ISABELLA Aim THE JEWS. 

de Avila, secretary, and Ferdinand AlTares de 
Toledo,* prothonotary, of Granada, — all Cozk* 
versos : the descendants of the latter were did-' 
tinguished in Castile as the Connts of Cedillo. 
Ferdinand, in his kingdom of Arragon, was not 
less surrounded with Conversos and their 
descendants at his Court and in the offices of 
the State. The prothonotary of Arragon^ 
Philip de Qemente, with his wife, Violante de 
.Calatayud, the King's secretary, Luis Gon- 
zales, and his treasurer, Luiz Sanchez, were 
all descended in a direct line from haptized 
or converted Jews. The Vice-ChanoeHor of 
Arragon, in the time of Ferdinand's fiither as 
well as his own, was Don Alonzo de la Cavalleria, 
of Saragossa, of a family originally Jewish, 
whose Christian members were at that time to 
be found among the clergy and magistrates of 
the town, as well as in the first and second 
chamber. His grandson, Don Francisco de la 
CavaUeria, was afterwards honoured by an 
alliance with the royal family, when he married 
the Countess of Ribagorza^ a cousin of the 
Emperor Charles V. Meanwhile, the Inqui- 
sition noted with care the genealogies of all 
the nobles of Arragon, sprung of Jewish race, 

* We must not confound this family with the Alvares 
of Toledo^ Dukes of Alva, who were of Arabic ori^n^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE NEW INQUISITION. 851 

ki a secret register, which was used, when 
occasion served, to oppress those with whom it 
was displeased, and whose revelations were 
concealed, or clothed under a pretence of in* 
dnigence to those whose credit and power it 
feared. 

Mention is made in history of the Inquisition 
before the year 1483, for an ancient institution 
then existed which the zealots of the time con** 
sidered quite inadequate to purge the Church 
from the leaven of Judaism. The tribunal estab^ 
lished by Ferdinand and Isabella, which cast 
so dark a shadow over their reign, was called 
the New Inquisition. Under this title, an 
abomination already too well known through-^ 
out Christendom, appeared with fresh organic* 
2ation and redoubled powers. 

It is well known that the fanatical hatred of 
the Dominican order, when seeking a fit in- 
strument for the destruction of the Vaudois, 
invented the Inquisition, which found nu- 
merous victims among the Christians of the 
south of France, &c. The ancient Inquisition 
had also vented its fury upon the errors of the 
Jews and Conversos, without having attained 
the degree of systematic cruelty and organized 
ferocity of which the new Inquisition pre- 
sented to the world so fearful a spectacle. 



Digitized by 



Google 



352 THE NEW INQUISITION. 

The new Inquisition differed from its elder 
sister in two ways : firsts because it was 
especially directed against converts from 
Judaism, without overlooking those from Ma« 
homedanism, or ceasing to take cognizance of 
evil doings against the religion of the State ; 
secondly^ because, unlike the old tribunal, 
which was put in force for a time, as circum* 
stances required, and called ^^Inquisition 
Extraordinary,'* — this, on the contrary, formed 
a 'permanent and powerful body in the State, 
connected with the Grovernment, and looked 
upon as an integral part of it A decree waa 
made, that no Bishop or other priest of Jewish 
extraction should take a seat in this new 
court, though this, like many similar ordi* 
nances, did not long remain in force.^ The 
whole power of this monstrous Inquisition 
soon fell entirely into the hands of the regular 
clergy, especially the Dominicans, to whom 
Torquemada, the first Inquisitor-General of 
Castile and Arragon, belonged. Like the 
order of the Jesuits with its General at Rome, 
the Inquisition of Spain was at once a power- 
ful bulwark and a cause of terror to the 
Papacy, which at the same time upheld and 
feared it. 

* See Uorente's History of the Inquisition. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE NEW INQUISITION. 363 

Isabdia could not easily make up her mind 
to adopt a measure which, when once estab- 
lished, must be acted upon and carried out 
with the same energy and recklessness of con- 
sequences that characterized her whole govern- 
ment. The Cortes, the nobility, and the gran- 
dees, were, in general, opposed to the estab- 
lishment of the Inquisition, but the Domi- 
nicans had set their heart upon it, and were 
determined to obtain it, while the lowest 
orders of the populace favoured, and, on oc- 
casion, supported it. Many centuries after, 
when the whole history of Spain, bent in com- 
pliance with, and subjugated by, the powers 
of the Inquisition, had been obliged to falsify 
and conceal many facts, it began to attribute 
both the establishment of this tribunal and 
the banishment of the Jews to the influence 
of several great men at the Court of Isabella, 
who, in reality, had taken no share in either 
of these movements. An urgent remonstrance 
against the establishment o€this terrible tribunal 
during the reign of the Catholic sovereigns is 
attributable to Ximenes, though the fact cannot 
be denied, that in later times this statesman 
supported the dealings of the Inquisition with 
the Flemish nobility, during the minority of 
Charles V., and after Torquemada's death 



Digitized by 



Google 



354 THB KSW INQUtSlTlOK; 

accepted the post of Inquisitor-General. The 
whole spirit of the Oreat Cardinal de Mendoza 
was entirely opposed to that of the Inquisi- 
tion, and Talavera showed sufficiently by his 
manner of dealing with the Mahomedans^ 
when Archbishop of Gtanada, that he sought 
to bring unbelievers to the faith of the Grospel, 
not by force, but by means of a noble and 
active Christian philanthropy. After the 
death of his royal friend, Queen Isabella, 
Talavera himself was exposed to the enmity 
of the Inquisition, which was directed against 
his near relations and himself, to the utter 
indignation of all good men. 

Of King Ferdinand it was said, that he was 
disposed to look favourably upon the introduce 
tion of the new Inquisition for the sake of his 
treasury, which was likely soon to be swelled 
by a vast amount of confiscations. But this 
circumstance in itself alarmed the conscience 
of the Queen, always tender, even in her 
greatest errors, and made her hesitate long 
before she gave her consent to the measure. 
What finally determined her to adopt it was, 
a vow she had made when a young Infanta, 
in the presence of Thomas of Torquemada, 
then her Confessor, that if ever she came to 
the throne, she would maintain the Catholic 



Digitized by 



Google 



TfflS NEW INQUISITION. 855 

faith with all her power, and extirpate heresy 
to the very root 

The first Papal Bull issued for the estahlish- 
ment of the Inquisition on this new footing 
in Castile, is dated in the year 1478. From 
that time firesh decrees were continually made 
in its favour, great privileges granted to the 
Inquisitors, and directions given for their 
lahours, to which every facility was afforded. 
At Seville, the new tribunal opened the series 
of its abominations, the different authorities 
^receiving strict injunctions to lend the help of 
the secular arm. At first these orders were 
tinderstood to include the royal dominions 
alone, and not to extend to the territory of 
the nobility. As a natural consequence, a 
vast number of new Christians took refuge on 
the estates of the Duke of Medina, Sidonia, 
the Marquis of Cadiz, and other grandees 
in SeviQe and Andalusia. The Inquisition 
instantly issued an edict against these refugees, 
with the most stringent threats of excommuni*^ 
cation, and other penalties, upon all who 
should give harbour to the guilty, and refuse 
to deliver them up. At Seville itself, in the 
year 1481, nearly three hundred Conversos 
were condemned to the flames as a first-fruits 
of the new Inquisition ; in other parts of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



356 THE NEW INQUISITION. 

province, the number amounted to two thou* 
sand, while seventeen thousand were con* 
demned to minor penalties. In consequence 
of these proceedings, many Spaniards left 
iheir own country to seek safety in Africa, 
Portugal, or France. 

The whole of Castile was shaken by the 
first effort of this new tribunal, yet no active 
resistance was offered to it. More difficulty 
was found in introducing it into the kingdom 
of Arragon in 1483. The equestrian order of 
knights, who for centuries had boasted their 
liberty and independence, the principal families 
of Saragossa, and the Converses and their 
descendants, who belonged to one or other of 
these parties, or were allied to them by mar- 
riage, — all looked with equal horror upon this 
iniquitous establishment. Their indignation 
led them to form associations, and conspire 
together to risk a desperate stroke, following 
the example set before them, that the end 
legalizes the means. When every lawM 
opposition, every appeal to the privileges and 
liberties of their country had failed; when 
Torquemada had appointed the Dominican, 
Graspar Juglar, and Dr. Pedro Arbues d'Avila, 
Inquisitors of Arragon, and in consequence 
several new Christians had been delivered up 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE NEW INQUISITION. 857 

to be burned upon an accusation of Judaism^ 
it was resolved to strike a desperate blow. 
A collection was made among all the Arra* 
gonese of Jewish extraction, and an attempt 
set on foot to take the life of Arbues. On the 
evening of the 13th of September, 1485, 
while he was at prayer in the church, leaning 
against a pillar, he was attacked by hired 
assassins, and so severely wounded, in spite of 
the armour he wore under his garments, that 
he died two days after. This momentary 
victory on the part of its enemies, however, 
only forwarded the establishment of the In- 
quisition, not in Arragon alone, but through- 
out the Spanish dominions. Scarcely had the 
news spread in Saragossa of an attack upon 
the Inquisition, than the populace assembled 
in a fury to seek revenge upon the conspirators 
and the new Christians. A bloody contest 
would probably have ensued, and was with 
difficulty prevented by the young Archbishop, 
who rode among the people, and promised 
that the murderers should be brought to 
punishment. Ferdinand and Isabella soon 
after erected a statue to Arbues, and he was 
canonized by Pope Alexander YII., in 1664. 
. The punishment of his murderers and their 



Digitized by 



Google 



358 TH£ NEW ncQuismoK. 

accomplices soon followed the death of Aibuesi 
while those who had escaped weie buiat in 
effigy. More than two hundred victims fell 
into the hands of the Inquisition, and many 
&milies were thrown into mourning. There 
was hardly a family of distinction at Sara- 
goftsa of which one individual at least did not 
appear at the Auto«da-f% in the habit of a 
penitent. We will mention a few among the 
names of those who were more or less com- 
promised by opposition to the Inquisition^ 
being privy to the conspiracy against Arbues, 
or rendering some service to the conspirators: — 
Don Jacques, called the In&int of Navarre, a 
near relation of King Ferdinand ; Don Lopes 
Ximenes de Urrea, Count of Aranda; Don 
Blasco d' Alagon, Lord of Sastago ; Don Lope 
de ReboUedo; and Juan de Bardaxi, with 
many of their relations, and a large body of 
the nobility, knights, and gentry of Saragossa^ 
Tarazona, Huesca, Catalayud, and Barbastro. 
Of these, Don Blasco d' Alagon, who had been 
receiver of the collection made by the con- 
spirators, owed to the influence of his rank 
and powerful connexions alone, an escape from 
further punishment Don Alonzo de la Caval- 
leria was saved by an appeal to Eome, afier 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE NEW II^QVISITION. 359 

which all accusation, either of concealed 
Judaism or connexion with the conspirators, 
was withdrawn^ 

From this period, the Inquisition met with 
no further obstacles, and for three centuries 
it raged in Spain with a vigour only abated 
during the course of the eighteenth century^ 
while the victims who perished by its flames, 
or in its dungeons, were without number. 
The sum of those burnt at the stake during 
the inquisitorship of Torquemada alone, 
amounted to more than seventeen thousand, 
of whom six thousand eight hundred and 
sixty were burnt in effigy, while more than 
ninety thousand persons had been condemned 
to minor penalties. 

It would be foreign to our purpose to trace 
any further the annals of this monstrous tri- 
bunal^ though our attention is once more 
called to its proceedings in a memorable and 
decisive moment for the Churches of Spain, 
when the light of the Reformation began to 
spread, and descendants of Israel were again 
its victims in the new character of Protestants. 

The voice which sounded £rom Wittenbei^, 
in the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
penetrated even to the heart of countries most 



Digitized by 



Google 



360 THE NEW INaXTISITION. 

nearly connected with the Papacy, and most 
completely enslaved by it An English writer 
has already given a detailed account of the 
progress made in Spain by the Reformation, 
or rather by the doctrine '' of justification by 
feith and not by works." * At its first appear** 
ance the Inquisition opened wide its blood- 
thirsty jaws. For fifteen years that tribunal 
was constantly engaged with criminal suits on 
account of Lutheran heresy at Seville and 
VaUadolid. 

In the early years of the reign of Philip 11. 
the peril from new doctrines was considered 
most eminent. Dr. Juan Gil, Bishop elect of 
Tortosa, was convicted of entertaining Protest- 
ant views, and was forced, in 1552, to a recan- 
tation, which he afterwards bitterly deplored. 
Many Spaniards who shared his convictions 
had emigrated, among them were Cassiodoros 
of Reina, Cyprian of Valera, and Juan Perea& 
de Pineda, who introduced thousands of Bibles 
and catechisms in Spanish, by means of a 
certain Julian Hernandez. The Inquisition 
having seized upon this agent, was soon on the 
track of a multitude of Protestants in the 

* M'Crie's History of the Befonnation in Italy and 
Spain. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE NEW INQUISITION. 361 

kingdom, many of whom were eminent for 
learning, talent, and rank. An Auto-da^fe was 
soon after held in presence of the King, the 
Coart, and a most crowded assembly, among 
whose victims were included Dr. Augustinp 
Cazalla, a priest and canon of Salamanca. 
He had been chaplain and almoner to the 
Emperor, with his brother, Francisco de Cazalla, 
and their sister Beatrice, all the children of 
Pedro Cazalla and his wife, who were both of 
Jewish descent. They were condemned to the 
flames by the Inquisition, which also tore 
from its resting-place and burnt the body of 
their mother. In 1568 the Archbishop of 
Toledo, Don Bartholomew of Carranza, and 
Miranda, formerly deputy from the Spanish 
clergy to the Council of Trent, by dint of 
disputation with heretics, had been led to 
convictions which brought upon him the 
persecutions of the Inquisition. Among other 
accusations that were brought against him 
was the imputation of believing "that the 
Lord Jesus Christ has made such entire satis- 
fistction for our sins, that no further satisfaction 
on our part is necessary." This archbishop 
had attended the death-bed of Charles Y. in 
the convent of St. Just, and there spoken to 
the same effect, to the great scandal of the 

R 



Digitized by 



Google 



362 THE NEW INQUISITION, 

other clergy who were present, the greater 
part of whom became his enemies.^ 

In the year 1570 the doctrines of the 
Reformation appear to have been completely 
crushed in Spain, and the persecutions of the 
Inquisition again turned against the concealed 
Jews or Mahometans. This tribunal exerted 
itself with less success, and apparently with fiEir 
less zeal to eradicate infidelity and the teach- 
ing of the French philosophers, than it had 
used in its efforts to crush the Protestant faith. 
And how could it be otherwise? when super- 
stition and infidelity, whether they allow it or 
not, are so closely allied ! The Sadducees and 
Pharisees agreed to crucify our Saviour, and to 
persecute his witnesses and disciples. A 
warning of deep moment in these our days ! 

The short-sighted hatred of the Inquisition 
had rather converted the Judaism of Spain 
into a festering wound in the body of the 
nation, than effectually combated or uprooted 
it The unity thus obtained was only in ex- 
ternals, while in secret the Jewish religion 
was propagated with a system of dissimulaticHi 
which could not but exercise a most pernicious 
influence on character, and become the source 

* See Llorente's History of the Inqtiisitioii, voL i!L, 
pp. 188-^15. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE KEW INQUISITION. 863 

of most revolting blasphemies against Ood 
and our Lord Jesus Christ. Unanimous testi- 
mony is borne both by Jewish and Spanish 
writers to the fact, that there is scarcely a 
family of note in Spain or Portugal which is 
not descended, either in the male or female 
line, from Jews, who had embraced Christianity 
by conviction or from other motives. 

Is it, then, surprising that the religion their 
fathers had professed for so many ages should 
possess great attractions for their descendants 
while placed in the midst of a Church whose 
idolatry and saint-worship the Israelite was 
as much justified in ccmdemning, as he was 
wrong in rejecting the sufifering Saviour, who 
had been foretold by his own prophets? 
When, in addition to this, there sprung from 
the midst of the Papacy, and flourished in 
Spain, a sect whose doctrines inculcated " men- 
tid reserve," "simulation,** and "hypocrisy,*' 
in matters of religion, is it wonderfril that the 
Jews of Spain should also have had recourse 
to rabbinical subtilties to reconcile an outward 
profession of Chriatianity with an inward love 
and secret performance of the Mosaic worship ? 
Hence arose the fearful evils which are said 
yet to exist in Spain, posts of dignity in the 
Church, the priesthood, and the cloister occtl- 

R 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



364 BANISHMENT OF THE JEWS. 

pied by men who in heart are Jews, and who 
meet at stated seasons to mourn over and 
abjure their outward profession of the Eomish 
faith, and to curse, with fearful imprecations, 
the memory of Ferdinand and Isabella. No 1 
it is "not by might nor by power" that 
Israel's conversion will be brought about, 
" but by my Spirit, saith the Lord," the God 
of Israel, his Redeemer. 

The Inquisition itself, however unscrupu- 
lously supported, seemed but a half-measure 
for carrying out the system which had given 
rise to it, as long as there remained a single 
Jew in the kingdom of Spain. And yet twelve 
years intervened between the introduction of 
the new Inquisition against concealed Jews 
and the edict of banishment passed upon those 
who were so openly. During the interval the 
latter were always on good terms with the 
Govemmeiit, and even admitted to high offices 
at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Yet 
they seem to have themselves given some 
cause for suspicion, for complaint, and even 
for fear. For example, in the year 1480, 
when the Cardinal of Mendoza had published 
a catechism for the use of baptized Jews, there 
appeared from the pen of a Jew a virulent 
attack upon the Boman Catholic religion, as 



Digitized by 



Google 



BANISHMENT OF THE JEWS. 365 

well as upon the Catholic sovereigns. The 
Israelites were also accused of endeavouring 
to make proselytes, not only among the new 
Christians, but among the old, whose descent 
could not be traced to Jewish parents, and seem 
to have succeeded in their efforts, especially 
in Andalusia. They were at that time for- 
midable by their number, their riches, their 
influence, and their relationship with the 
Conversos in all parts of the country, as well 
as by the influence they might acquire in 
allying themselves with an infidel or hostile 
power. 

A Spanish author of Jewish race has re- 
marked, that if the Israelites had not kept 
their eyes fixed on Palestine alone as their 
own country, they might successfully have 
overturned the Spanish government. The 
edict for their expulsion, which had long been 
threatened, was finally promulgated in the 
year 1492. This took place immediately after 
the reduction of the last Moslem kingdom in 
the Peninsula. From Granada, its capital, 
was dated the decree which forbade any Jew 
by religion to remain in the Spanish dominions 
after a period of four months. They were not 
to carry away gold, silver, or jewels, beyond a 
certain amount; but they might sell their 



Digitized by 



Google 



366 EXPULSION OF THE JEWS 

houses and lands, and export the value in 
bills of exchange. 

The news of this edict came upon the Jews 
like a thunder-clap. They were soon reduced 
to the verge of despair, when every appeal to 
the compassion of the King and Queen had 
been defeated by the opposition of Torque- 
mada. They even offered immense sums of 
money, as a price for remaining in a country 
where they had already been established for 
so many centuries. But the merciless Torque^ 
mada presented himself before the King, with 
a crucifix in his hand, and asked, for how 
many pieces of silver more than Judas he 
would sell his Saviour to the Jews) 

This barbarous mandate was put in force by 
equally barbarous measures. The permission 
which was granted to the exiles to dispose 
of their property became, in reality, a mere 
mockery, for in the great need of the moment, 
and the short space of time allowed, to use the 
words of a cotemporary, " a house was sold 
for an ass, and a vineyard for a piece of linen/' 
Amidst all this iniquity and ill-treatment, the 
unhappy exiles, with their wives and children, 
were transported by ships to the coast of 
Africa. To many of them the distress was so 
insupportable that their long-tried constancy 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM SPAIN. 867 

gave way, and they returned to Spain to 
demand baptism, and expose themselves as 
New Christians to the severities of the Inqui- 
sition. Hence arises, in part at least, the 
different computations that have been made of 
their numbers, which some have stated as 
amounting to 800,000, others to 300,000, 
while a Spanish statistic of the population 
numbers the exiled Jews at 27,000. In this 
latter computation we must not reckon those 
who returned to Spain, or any of those who 
subsequently quitted the country by degrees, 
according as the fury of the Inquisition 
was more or less on the alert against the 
Converses. In after-times, during the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries, many found 
a secure and peaceful asylum in the Protestant 
Netherlands. A Jewish author of Amsterdam 
thus speaks of these refugees : '^ Many of the 
canons, inquisitors, and bishops in Spain are 
of Jewish descent; some are still Jews at 
heart, though, for the sake of temporal advan- 
tages, they feign themselves to be Christians ; 
some of these at times repent and leave the 
country as best they can. In this city of 
Amsterdam, and in other countries, there are 
Augustins, Franciscans, Dominicans, and 
Jesuits, who have cast off idolatry. In Spain 



Digitized by 



Google 



368 EXPULSION OP THE JEWS 

there are a great many distinguished bishops 
and monks, whose parents, brothers, and 
sisters, live in this town and elsewhere, where 
they can profess Judaism." 

Among the thousands and ten thousands 
of Jews who quitted Spain in consequence of 
the decree of Ferdinand and Isabella, the 
most highly gifted in rank and fortune first 
sought refuge in Portugal. John II., who 
was at that time King, afforded them an im- 
mediate asylum and fair privileges, on the 
payment of a tolerably high capitation tax. 
Multitudes of these fugitives established them- 
selves in the frontier cities of Braganza, 
Alisanda, Elvas, and others. At Oporto the 
spacious street of San Miguel was given to 
thirty Jewish families, as a place of residence. 
Immanuel Aboab, author of the "Nomology," 
remembered having seen, in his childhood, the 
synagogues which belonged to the Jewish exiles 
from Spain in that city. 

It is a mistake to assert, as some writers 
have done,* that the number of Jews in 
Portugal, before the arrival of the Spanish 
exiles, was small, and of no importance; for here, 
as in other parts of the Peninsula, frequent 
mention is made of them in its chronicles and 
♦ See Jost, vii., 89, 90. 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM SPAIN. 369 

histories. Though Castile and Andalusia may 
boast of being the most ancient resort of the 
Jewish nation in this part of the world, yet in 
Portugal, also, they were early settled, and 
their influence was great in the earlier periods 
of the monarchy. Under Alphonso II. and 
his successors, from the thirteenth century to 
the fifteenth, almost without exception, the 
Jews were treated with much consideration. 
Indeed, Pope Gregory II., among other com- 
plaints against King Alphonso, with whom 
he was at variance, reproached him for nomi- 
nating Jews in preference to Christians to the 
oflices of state. There is no doubt, that, under 
this king, and more than one of his successors, 
the highest positions in the State were filled 
by Jews, and, as in Castile and Arragon, the 
Cortes urged remonstrances which were but 
little regarded, and the prohibitions they ex- 
torted were soon set aside. We have already 
mentioned the actual relationship to the 
Jewish nation in Portugal borne by King 
John I., the father of Don Duarte.* 

The Jews in Portugal enjoyed extensive 

* See an interesting dissertation, " Sobre os Judeos em 
Portugal," by Joaquim Jose Ferreira Grordo, in the 
eighth volume of the ** Memorias da Academia Real das 
Sciencias de Lisboa. 1823." 
B 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



370 THE JEWS IN POBTUGAL. 

privileges as a completely separate portion of 
the community, yet on nearly an eqaal footing 
with the Christians. Their Chief Rabbi was 
nowhere so highly considered, or his position 
more carefully determined by the legisla- 
ture. King John I. gave his sanction, at the 
request of Micer Moses, his chief physician, 
to a bull of Clement VI., confirmed by Boni- 
face IX. in 1389, granting to the Jews free 
permission to celebrate their feasts, practise 
their ceremonies, and continue the full exer- 
cise of their religious worship, notwithstand- 
ing the violence and opposition of hot*headed 
fanatics. 

Until the reigns of John IL and Don 
Manuel, we scarcely find any attempt to per- 
secute the Jews recorded. From time to time 
the clergy and representatives of the people 
demanded an enforcement of the ancient edicts 
requiring the Jews and Moors to wear a dis- 
tinctive mark on their clothes. To Alphonso V. 
complaints were made of the magnificence 
of their style of living, and the luxury they 
displayed in silken garments, fine horses, and 
splendid arms. 

During the period of tranquillity which the 
Jews of Portugal enjoyed before the end of 
the fifteenth century, they applied themselves 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JBW8 IN POBTUOAL. 371 

diligently, not only to theology and Hebrew 
literature, but also to the study and investiga* 
tion of science. A learned Portuguese, speak- 
ing of his own (country in particular, says, 
that the inhabitants of that part of the Penin- 
sula were indebted to the Jews for their 
earliest instruction in philosophy, medicine, 
botany, astronomy, and cosmography.* Al- 
phonso lY., of Portugal, in the fourteenth 
century (1325 — 1357), trod in the steps of 
his maternal grandfitther, Alphonso X., of 
Castile, and engaged with zeal in the study 
of astronomy, in which he was also assisted by 
learned Jews and Arabs. It was more espe* 
daily in the reign of Don Duarte, that the 
science of navigation made rapid advances 
during the repeated voyages of the illustrious 
seaman. Prince Henry. The King himself 
took great interest in all studies connected 
with these voyages of discovery. He enter- 
tained at court the Hebrew astronomer, 
Abraham Guedetha, as cosmographer to the 
King, who combined with a knowledge of 
astronomy, not only its usual accompaniment 

* Antonio Bibeiro dos Santos, da Litteratura Sagrada 
dos Judeos Portaguezes, in the ''Memorias da Academia 
Real das Sciencias de Lisbaa,** torn. IL, p. 2S6. 



Digitized by 



Google 



372 THE JEWS IN POETUOAL. 

of astrology, but also an extensive acquaint- 
ance with geography. The principal coun-* 
cillors of John II., when undertaking the 
expeditions that led to the discovery of a new 
way to India round the Cape of Good Hope, 
were the two Bishops of Viseu and Ceuta, 
and three Jewish physicians, Jos6, Bodrigo, 
and Moses. Four of these learned men were 
also engaged in making charts to assist the 
two celebrated travellers in Abyssinia, Pero 
de Covilhao and Alphonso de Pavia. These 
four councillors have been reproached with 
dissuading the King from accepting the pro- 
posals of Christopher Columbus. To counter- 
balance this error, we may state that the first 
idea of the possibility of finding a passage to 
India was suggested by the observations of 
two Portuguese Jews, Rabbi Abraham de 
Beja and Joseph Zaphatero de Lamego, who 
had been sent by King John II. to explore 
Ormuz, and the coasts of the Bed Sea. An 
investigation as to the best means of encou- 
raging navigation, not along the coast only, 
but in the open sea, was confided by the 
Government, during the reign of this prince, 
to the celebrated German, Martin de Behaim, 
then established in the country, together with 
the before-mentioned Bodrigo and Jos6. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN PORTUGAL. 373 

The celebrated Don Manuel, surnamed the 
Lucky, who succeeded to the throne of 
Portugal after the death of John II., earned 
still more renown by the interest he took in the 
sciences of astronomy and navigation. In his 
reign Yasca de Gama first accomplished a 
passage to India round the Cape, which con- 
tributed to open a new era in the history of 
the world, as well as in that of commerce. 
This monarch, who finally banished the Jews 
much against his own inclination, bestowed 
honour upon many of that nation, both before 
and after their compulsory baptism, and con- 
ferred upon them many privileges. 

In their own literature and theology, less 
progress was made by the Jews of Portugal 
than those of Spain ; fewer names of distinc- 
tion have been recorded, and Hebrew poets 
were rare in that portion of the Peninsula. 
Yet academies and learned men were not 
wanting, and the rabbinical school of Lisbon 
early gained distinction among the many 
Jewish institutions which sprung from the 
mother school of Cordova. It was gradually 
increased by numerous fugitives, who quitted 
Spain before the final catastrophe in 1492, 
compelled by local persecution, or other 
causes, to escape from Castile and Arragon. 



Digitized by 



Google 



874 THB JEWS IN POBTUOAL. 

Daring the five years that elapsed between 
their expulsion from Spain, and their banish- 
ment from Portugal, Lisbon became, for a 
moment, the centre-point of Jewish science 
and civilization. 

It is worthy of remark, that the learned 
Jews who flourished in Portugal during the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries sprang, 
almost without exception, from one or two 
families. Such families, for example, as the 
Schem Toys, the Yachias, and the Abarbanels, 
produced theologians and rabbinical or cab* 
balistic writers, both in Hebrew and Arabic. 
The two last»mentioned families boast both a 
long series of learned and distinguished an- 
cestors, and a descent from the family of 
David. Numerous Yachias, who have distin- 
guished themselves by their knowledge of 
Hebrew and the theology of their nation, are 
fiuned, not only in Portugal, but also later 
than 1457, at Constantinople, and in other 
cities. 

The distinguished author, Don Isaac Abar- 
banel, was bom at Lisbon, in the year 1437, of 
a family from Seville who had long been 
established there. While councillor to King 
Alphonso v., he was as celebrated for his 
enlightened views and knowledge of public 



Digitized by 



Google 



DON ISAAC ABAKBANEL. 375 

affitin as for his great excellence as a Hebrew 
oommentator and expoander.* After the 
death of that monarch, he was suspected of 
having taken part in the conspiracy of die 
Duke of Braganza against his son and sue* 
cesser, John II., and was compelled, in 1482, 
to leave Portugal suddenly, to escape the 
effects of an accusation, which he declared to 
be entirely without foundation* He was not 
only welcomed by the Jews of Castile and 
their learned men, but also favourably re- 
ceived by Ferdinand and Isabella, who con- 
fided to him and Don Abraham Senor the 
administration of their financial affairs. This, 
however, did not procure him any exception 
from the great tribulation which fell upon the 
Jews in Spain a few years after. Abarbanel is 
said to have been deputed with the proposals 
made by the Jews to the Catholic sovereigns, 
which Torquemada so boldly and adroitly 
turned aside. Abarbanel shared the fate of 
his nation, and was banished from Spain on 
account of his religion, as he had been before 
from Portugal for political reasons. Not ven- 
turing to return thither, he sought refuge in 



• See the Bibliothecae of Wolf, De Castro, De Rossi, 
and Barbofia. 



Digitized by 



Google 



376 THE JEWS IN PORTUGAL. 

the kingdom of Naples, where many of the 
Jewish exiles had already found an asylum, 
and where they had heen known and tolerated 
for ages. There he was again employed at 
the Court, and faithfully served King Ferdi- 
nand and his son. Alphonso II., until the 
invasion of the French under Charles VIII. 
Abarbanel shared in this misfortune also ; he 
accompanied Alphonso to Sicily, and after his 
death went to Corsica. He ended his days at 
Venice, having been employed by that Re- 
public in settling some differences with the 
Crown of Portugal. He was buried with 
great honour at the Jewish cemetery of Padua. 
His numerous theological writings are mostly 
the fruit of those days of retirement which his 
own and his country's misfortunes afforded 
him. His proud and ambitious spirit led him 
to seek by preference the worldly duties of a 
politician, while he gave free vent to his invete- 
rate hatred against the persecutors of his people, 
and, alas ! against the Christian religion also, 
in his works of Theology and Rabbinical Ju- 
daism. He has left an elaborate Commentary 
on the greater part of the Old Testament, 
especially Moses and the prophets, — a treatise 
on the articles of the modern Jewish faith, 
called " Rosch Emouna," and a work on the 



Digitized 



ed by Google 



THE JEWS IN PORTUGAL. 377 

unfulfilled prophecies of the restoration and 
glory of Israel, called, "Maschmiah Yeschuah," 
&c. A chronicle he had written, of all the 
misfortunes which have happened to the 
people of God from the earliest days, has heen 
lost* 

In viewing Abarbanel's character as a 
whole, we must class him rather among the 
brilliant intellects, than the noble characters 
of the dispersed of Israel. His sons took part 
in his misfortunes and his wanderings ; they 
also shared his fame, especially the eldest, 
Don Jehudah, better known as Leo Hebreus, 
the author of a philosophical treatise upon 
" Love," in Italian, which has since been 
often translated. Don Samuel, another of 
Abarbanel's sonSj-f appears to have embraced 
the Christian faith. Descendants of this illus- 
trious family long continued to exist in the 

* In judging the writingB of Abarbanel, the estimate 
of their value, so well expressed by the learned Emperor 
Ck>nstantine, should be carefully noted : *' Ex Abrabanele 
plura quam ex omnibus Hebraeorum doctoribus addisci 
potest, quippe, si quid in sacris litteris obscurius sit (nisi 
contra veritatem Christianam cum suis obnitatur), exar- 
ante." Don Nicolas Antonio says of him, " Si natura 
eum expendas, ingeniosissimus ; si a studiis, doctissimus ; 
si ab industriS, totus labor." 

•f Memorias da Academia de Lisboa, ii., 399, 400. 



Digitized by 



Google 



878 THE JEWS IN PORTUGAL. 

synagogues of Amsterdam, Hamburgh, and 
London. 

To return to the Jews in Portugal. King 
John II. having, in 1492, admitted to his 
dominions a certain portion of the Jewish 
exiles, began, the following year, to enter 
more fully into the views of the Catholic 
sovereigns. All who arrived in the country 
beyond a certain number of families, with 
whom he had made an agreement, were from 
that time looked upon as slaves ; their children, 
torn from the hearts of their parents, or 
snatched from the bosom of their mother, 
were transported to the Isle of St. Thomas, and 
elsewhere.* Some check was put upon this 
horrible cnielty by the failing health of the 
King, and for other reasons. It ceased en- 
tirely when Don Manuel, the cousin and 
brother-in-law of John, who died mthout 
leaving an heir, succeeded him on the throne 
of Portugal. This prince began his reign 
with such generous and merciful decrees in 

* Portuguese writers differ from the Jewish annalists, 
especially from Usqae, in laying the blame of this ill- 
treatment exclusiyelj on the people, and not on the King 
himself. Different accounts are also given of the condi- 
tions upon which King John 11. granted, for a time, 
hospitality to the Spanish fugitives. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN POETUGAU 379 

favour of the Jewish exiles, that, notwithstand^ 
ing the persecution they soon after endured 
from him, his memory has always retained the 
esteem of their descendants, as shown by the 
surname of El Rey Judeo, given him in some 
family traditions. 

It was entirely for worldly and political 
motives that Don Manuel, in 1497, so entirely 
changed his line of conduct. When he sought 
in marriage the Infanta Isabella, daughter of 
the Catholic sovereigns, and widow of Alfonso, 
the only son of John H., two conditions were 
imposed by Ferdinand and Isabella, without 
the fulfilment of which the In&nta herself 
positively declared she could not accept the 
proposals of the new King of Portugal. These 
were, a treaty with Spain in preference to 
France, with which country Portugal had 
hitherto maintained a peaceful alliance; and 
the banishment of the Jews from this country, 
as well as from Spain. King Manuel, in the 
warmth of his affection, agreed to both the 
proposals. Thus, against the advice of the 
King's most able councillors, a choice was 
offered to the whole body of the Jewish 
people in Portugal, either to receive baptism, 
or leave the country for ever. The conse- 
quences were the same as in Spain. The 



Digitized by 



Google 



380 THE JEWS IN PORTUGAL. 

Jewish population was divided. Some, with 
their &inilies, abandoned for ever the soil of 
Portugal; others, not fewer in number, em- 
braced, or feigned to embrace, the Roman 
Catholic faith. Among those baptized by 
force, we must reckon many children under 
fourteen years of age, who were taken from 
their parents, but committed to the guardian- 
ship of Portuguese families, to be brought up 
in the Christian faith, according to their 
station in society. Meanwhile, the measures 
taken by Don Manuel left the new Christians 
an easy opportunity for adhering in secret to 
their ancient religion; inasmuch as the Go- 
vernment pledged itself not to introduce the 
Inquisition for the first twenty years. This 
term was prolonged for another twenty during 
the reign of John III., the son and successor 
of Don Manuel. The Government interfered 
but slightly with the Jewish inhabitants of 
their East Indian colonies. Don Manuel him- 
self protected the new Christians in every way 
in Portugal. He appointed them to the 
offices of the State, invited them to his Court, 
and very severely punished the instigators of a 
tumult, raised against them by the populace of 
Lisbon in 1606. 

In the reign of his successor, Rome and the 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN PORTUGAL. 381 

partisans of the Inquisition began to take 
alarm ; for in Portugal also the introduction 
of Protestant doctrines had excited their 
wrath. The year 1536 witnessed the intro- 
duction of the Inquisition upon the Portu- 
guese territory, and by its means a distinction 
was effected between old and new Christians. 
It did not, however, prevent many of the latter 
remaining Jews in secret, and even propagat- 
ing their own religion. They were known to 
be Israelites, and acknowledged as such not- 
withstanding the rage of the Inquisition, 
which broke out upon them at intervals. In 
the dissensions which occurred at the death of 
the Cardinal King, Don Henry (1580), the 
new Christians formed an influential party in 
favour of Don Antonio, Prior of Crato, a 
natural son of the infant, Don Louis, by a 
Jewish mother. In 1660, soon after Portugal 
had asserted her independence, a singular con- 
spiracy was formed conjointly by the new 
Christians and the Inquisitors, in favour of the 
Spanish Government against the house of 
Braganza, by whom the former had not been 
well treated. One of their body was executed 
in consequence of this insurrection. The dis- 
tinction between old and new Christians, 
which Don Manuel had endeavoured to 



Digitized by 



Google 



882 THE JEWS IN PORTUGAL. 

abolish, and which, two centuries after, was 
again condemned by Don Luis da Cunha, then 
minister of state, was officially prohibited 
under the administration of the Marquis de 
Pombal, said by some to have himself, by 
birth, belonged to them. As lately as the 
eighteenth century. Lord Galloway, when 
ambassador at the court of Portugal, said in 
joke, " that the whole nation was divided into 
two parts, of which one awaited the return of 
King Sebastian, and the other the coming of 
the Messiah/' * A late English traveller has 
made the remark, that truly Israelitish features 
are discernible in more than half of the popu* 
lation of Portugal. 

We cannot but notice one striking fact in 
relation to the banishment and ill-treatment of 
the Jewish people. Ere a century had passed 
the flower of the youthftil nobility of Portugal, 
with the King Sebastian at their head, were 
slain or made prisoners on the same coast of 
Africa, to which the unfortunate Jews had 

* King Sebastian nerer returned to Portugal, after 
his diBastrous expedition against the Moors of Africa, in 
1578, where he doubtless lost his life on the same field of 
battle with the flower of his nobility. The conunon 
people in Portugal have persisted for two centuries, and 
even now still persist^ in looking for the return of this 
prince. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THB 8SPHAEDIM IN BASBART. 383 

not long before been so barbarously driven. 
Happy, by comparison, was the lot of those 
among the Christian captives who fell into the 
hands of African Israelites, from whom alone 
they' received any compassion and assistance 
in their misfortunes. 

A Jewish writer of the present day, not 
himself a descendant of the Sephardim, has 
said, ^^ that of all the exiles and all the mis- 
fortunes which have lighted on the head of 
Israel, since his crown has fallen, none was so 
terrible, so eventful, or so fatal, as their expul« 
sion from the Peninsula." * In fact, the dis* 
persion caused by this catastrophe is, in some 
respecta, even more remarkable than that 
which followed the destruction of Jerusalem, 
because this second dispersion speedily scat- 
tered the Sephardim also over every quarter 
of the globe. Shortly after the edicts of 1492 
and 1497, Jews and new Christians were to 
be met with in the newly-discovered territories 
of America, both in the Spanish possessions 
and in Brazil, which had fallen to the share of 
the Portuguese. In Africa, Asia, and the 
Turkish Empire, their families and synagogues 
have been established, and have continued to 

* Yorlesiingen uber die neuere Geschichte der Judea 
Lowisohn. Yienna, 1820. 



Digitized by 



Google 



384 THE BEPHARDIH IN BARBARY. 

the present day, entirely apart from all other 
races of their nation. We will now give a 
brief account of the countries in which they 
have chiefly established themselves, and have 
remained the longest, ending with the country 
which has become a new central point for the 
dispersed of Judah, — the United Provinces of 
the Netherlands. 

From time immemorial Africa has been an 
eventM country to Israel. Egypt, where their 
natibnal history first began, was a resort for 
many of the nation in the times of the Grecian 
and Koman monarchies, as well as in the 
Middle Ages, while under the sway of Maho- 
medanism. From the days of Maimonides, 
Cairo, Damietta, and other Egyptian towns, 
have been celebrated for their rabbinical 
seminaries and Talmudic learning. We cui- 
not doubt that a great number of the Spanish 
exiles sought refuge in a country already re- 
sorted to by numerous caravans of Jewish 
pilgrims, visiting the synagogue of that spot 
which popular tradition fixes upon as the 
birthplace of their great lawgiver. In the 
western parts of Africa, especially in the states 
of Morocco, the exiled Jews settled in great 
numbers. A communication had long been 
kept up between Spain and that country ; and 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE SEPHARDIM IN BARBABT. 385 

now that an abode on the north side of the 
straits of Gibraltar was prohibited, nothing 
was more natural than their migration to the 
opposite coast. At Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, 
Mequinez, Oran, Fez, and in the whole empire 
of Morocco, the Jews from Spain found nume* 
rous synagogues, some of which were noted 
for their men of learning. Yet, even here 
the Jewish population from the Peninsula has 
kept itself aloof and separate both from the 
Jews of Barbary and from the European or 
Frank Jews. They have never attained in 
Africa the high position they had held in 
Spain, or have subsequently reached in many 
parts of Europe, Though allowed liberty of 
conscience, and even protected by the Em- 
peror, and the Barbary Beys and Deys, they 
were exposed both to the immense exactions 
of the rulers and to the ill-treatment of a 
fanatic populace. They were rigorously com- 
pelled to wear the black turban, and different 
coloured boots, that they might not be con- 
founded with the Mahomedan population* 
Thus many circumstances concurred to depress 
the condition of that portion of the Jewish 
population of Spain who settled in Barbary. 
Here, however, as elsewhere, some individual^ 
of that nation were employed by the sovereigns 



Digitized by 



Google 



386 THE 8EPHARDIM IN BARBART. 

of the country on important missions, and in 
affairs of state. Towards the end of the suc- 
teenth century, Don Samuel Palache was sent 
by the Emperor of Morocco as his agent to 
the Hague, where he died, in 1616, and was 
followed to the grave by the Prince Maurice, 
the States-General, and the Councillors of the 
United Provinces. In 1642, a Spanish Israelite, 
named Don Joseph Toledano, was charged by 
Muley Ismael, the Prince of Morocco, to con* 
elude a treaty of alliance with the Republic of 
the Netherlands ; the same Israelite had before 
rendered important services to this prince, 
when he first succeeded his brother, Muley 
Mahomet. Under the rule of both these bro- 
thers, the Jews and their synagogues enjoyed 
peculiar prosperity, and we find mention made 
of a prince of the captivity at their head. The 
affairs of finance and the negotiations with 
European powers were almost entirdly en* 
trusted to the Jews. In 1775 an Israditei 
named Masahod de la Mar,* took up his 
abode, and established his family at Amster- 
dam, after being sent on a similar mission 
from Morocco to England and the United Pro* 
vinces. At Oran, which was conquered by 
the Spaniards, under Cardinal Ximenes, in 
* See Eoenen's History of the Jews in HoUaad. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE SEFHABDIM IN TURKEY. 387 

1507, the Jews from Spain were permitted to 
reiide upoa sufferance. They were exemplary 
in their fiddity to the Spanish Government, 
and gained its est em and favour by their 
personal services. The valiant families of 
Cansino and Saporta, originally from Arragon, 
served the King of Spain against his Moorish 
enemies in Africa ; so that, when, in 1669, the 
Spanish governor forbade the Jews to remain 
any longer in Oran, he granted letters patent 
to the Saportas, making honourable mention 
of the services that £nnily had rendered, end* 
ing with the remarkable declaration, that 
they were banished for no other reason but 
'^ because it was absolutely impossible for his 
Catholic Majesty to allow a Jew to remain 
within his dominions." 

History takes but little note of the Jews in 
the Turkish Empire before the close of the 
Middle Ages, but soon after the taking of Con- 
stantinople by the Turks, in 1453, it became 
apparent that a large body of the Jewish 
people had formed a considerable part of the 
population in the metropolis, and in other 
parts of the empire.* The Spanish exiles did 
not introduce, but found a vast number of 
synagogues already established, and masters of 
* See Joet. Yin. 60, et seq. 
s 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



388 THE SEFHARDIM IN TURKEY. 

high repute, whose rabbinical lore was not 
much inferior in degree to their own during 
the Middle Ages. Constantinople, Jerusalem, 
Tiberias, Damascus, Aleppo, Nicopolis, and 
Salonichi, had become central points for Jewish 
literature and theology. The population in 
all these cities was rapidly increased by nume* 
rous detachments from Spain and Portugal. 
The new synagogues, however, remained dis- 
tinct, preserving not only their own liturgy, 
language, and customs, but even continuing 
for a time to class themselves by the names of 
the cities and provinces they had formerly 
inhabited; thus their synagogues were long 
distinguished, as those of Arragon, of Toledo, 
of Lorca, Lisbon, &c. 

One of the most important benefits which 
the accession of these thousands of Spanish 
fugitives, with their learned men, conferred on 
the Jewish communities of Turkey was the 
removal of their printing-presses, which were 
soon in full activity. At Constantinople and 
Salonichi, as well as many Italian cities, the 
Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament were 
printed and abundantly circulated in Hebrew 
and Spanish, together with many Jewish 
commentaries and other writings which had 
hitherto remained in manuscript. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE SEPHARDIM IN TURKEY. 889 

The social and political position of the Jew- 
ish population in the Ottoman Empire con- 
tinued a prosperous one for many generations. 
With the exception of the popular feeling of 
prejudice against the descendants of Israel all 
over the world, and those temporary exactions 
against which no one in the East is secure, 
the Turkish Government was disposed to treat 
them with great liberality. They enjoyed 
complete freedom for commerce, manufacture, 
agriculture, and the possession of landed pro- 
perty. The financial affairs of the Sultan and 
chief officers of the state were chiefly confided 
to Jews, and physicians of that nation were 
received at Court with peculiar privileges. 
They reached the greatest height of pros- 
perity in the later part of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, when Miquez, one of their brethren, 
was high in favour with the Sultan, Selim II. 
This Don Joseph Miquez, who has been as 
much maligned by Roman Catholic writers, 
as he is lauded by Jewish and Protestant 
historians,* was a Spaniard, who had emi- 
grated on account of his religion. Having 
lived for some time at Antwerp, he made 
solicitation to the Duchess of Parma, Gover- 
ness to the Netherlands, to obtain a residence 

• See Strada, " Guerre des Pays Baa," 1566. Baanage, 
"Histoiredes Juiffl.'* 



Digitized by 



Google 



890 THE SEPHARDIH IN ITALY. 

for his nation in that country ; but he failed, 
in consequence of the antipathy expressed by 
Philip II. to his proposals. He a^rwards 
entered into negotiation with the Senate of 
Venice to obtain permission for the establish- 
ment of a Jewish colony on one of the islands 
belonging to that Bepublic. This project, 
also, having failed, he went to Constantinople, 
where his enterprising genius and great 
talents gained him so much fevour with the 
Sultan, that the government of twelve islands 
in the Archipelago was committed to him by 
this sovereign. This appointment caused him 
to be sumamed by his brethren, " El Nassi,** 
the Prince. In 1566, the Reformed C!on- 
sistory of Antwerp received a letter from 
Miquez, encouraging the Protestants to hold 
out, because the Sultan Selim was forming 
designs against the Spanish monarchy which 
would soon compel Philip to think of other 
matters than oppressing the Netherlands. 

In Italy, as well as Turkey, the influx of 
Spanish Israelites seemed to infuse fresh life 
and vigour into the literature and theology of 
the dispersed nation. The emigrants were, 
generally speaking, welcomed with kindness 
both by the magistrates of the Italian states 
and by their own brethren. In the kingdom 
of Naples, the Catholic King, being unable to 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE &EPHABDIH IN ITALY. 391 

establish the Inquisition, could not allow them 
to remain. An edict of banishment was, in 
consequence, passed, and the exiles from 
Spain had again much to suffer from royal 
severity. Jewish writers say that these 
compulsory measures were only employed 
against the Sephardim. * The Emperor 
Charles did not show less cruelty in Italy, 
especially in the ctise of two Israelites, 
David Reubens and Solomon Malcho. The 
latter, a native of Portugal, baptized by force 
in his childhood, filled the office of Private 
Secretary to the King. Reubens came to him, 
on his return from Asia, with accounts of the 
lost ten tribes, and wrought so powerfully on 
his convictions, that he not only returned to 
the faith of his fathers, but made an attempt 
to bring over Francis I. and the Emperor to 
the religion. of Moses. Francis I. took the 
matter in jest, but the Emperor immediately 
handed over the unfortunate Malcho to the 
secular power at Mantua, by which he was 
condemned to the flames in 1536. 

In the Ecclesiastical states, and especially 
at Rome, the exiled Jews were but little per- 
secuted. The Popes, as we have before 
observed, waged war with their books, rather 
• See Orobio de Caatro, p. 208^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



d92 THE SEPHARDIM IN ITALY. 

than ^ith themselves. The new Christians 
lived in far greater security from the Inquisi- 
tion in the Papal States than in Spain and 
Portugal, Alexander VI., when they were 
first banished from Spain, gave them his 
assistance at a time when they were looked 
upon with a degree of jealousy by their co- 
religionists at Rome. The Spanish synagogues 
were still more flourishing in other cities, as 
at Ancona, Pesaro, Padua, and Leghorn, 
which to this day contains the handsomest 
structure of the kind in Europe. The Govern- 
ment of Venice often confided its most im- 
portant missions to men of the Jewish per- 
suasion; and to this Republic, Dr. Juda 
Lumbroso, from Tuscany, after having long 
served the Grand Duke, retired, that he might 
live in peace in the exercise of the Jewish 
religion. 

One striking consequence of the Jewish 
emigration to Italy, was the establishment 
and multiplication of the Hebrew printing 
presses, in more than one of its cities. Since 
the latter half of the fifteenth century had 
commenced, the art of printing, then newly 
discovered, had begun to rival, if not to take the 
place of, manuscript. The Jews of Spain and 
Portugal had, for many years, excelled all 



Digitized by 



Google 



HEBREW FRINTEBS. 393 

their coantrytnen in the number and beauty 
of their written copies of the Pentateuch and 
other holy books. When, in 1471, the Jews 
in Italy began to set up Hebrew presses, their 
example was soon followed at Lisbon. The 
first Hebrew book printed in t^e Peninsula 
is dated from Lisbon, 1485. It was the Book 
of the Way of Life, '* Seper Orach Chaim,** 
by Babbi Jacob Ben Asher. In 1489, a 
Hebrew Pentateuch was printed at Lisbon, 
and in 1494 a second press was set up at 
Leira, which produced the Greater Prophets 
in the original. Three years after, the edict 
of banishment was promulgated, which abo« 
lished, for ever, the printing of Hebrew in 
Portugal. Not only were books in that Ian* 
guage prohibited, but even the use of the 
presses in publishing Greek, Latin, and 
Portuguese works was rendered null by the 
great privileges granted to strangers in prefer- 
ence to the new Christians of the country. 
All these circumstances combined led the 
Jews of Portugal to devote themselves to the 
improvement and extension of the presses 
already established in Italy, and to erect new 
ones, whose ramifications extended to Con- 
stantinople and Salonichi. The most cele- 
brated of all was the press established by the 
s3 



Digitized by 



Google 



394 HEBBEW PBINTERir. 

Jews of Spain and Portugal at Ferrara, under 
the superintendence of the celebrated Abra- 
ham Usque, son of Solomon, and brother of 
Samuel, Usque. The Bible of Ferrara, con- 
taining the Spanish version of the Old Testa^ 
ment, is one of the most famed productions 
of the Jewish press in Italy. This version 
was published under the superintendence of 
the learned editor himself and his fellow* 
labourer and coreligionist, Yom Tov Aihias, 
and appears in two different forms, which 
have been wrongly looked upon as different 
editions. In both, the text, with few excep- 
tions,* is word for word the same ; there is 
some difference in the headings of the chap- 
ters. In some copies the date is given accord- 
ing to the JeMdsh jEra, 14th Adar, 5113; in 
others, according to the Christian style. May 
10th, 1553. The dedication in the earlier 
copies is to Dona Gracia Nasi, a Jewish lady 
of distinction, mother-in-law to Don Joseph 
Miquez; in the later ones to Hercules de 
Este, Duke of Ferrara. In some editions the 
names of the editors are written Duarte 



* The principal variation is in Isaiah vii. 14, where 
the word Hagnalma is translated in some copies by 
Yirgem, virgin ; and in others by Mo^a, damsel. 



Digitized by 



Google 



LEARNED HEN, ETC. 395 

Pinhel,* Portuguese, and Jerome de Pargas, 
Spaniard ; in others, Abraham Usque, Porto* 
guese, and Yom Tov Athias, son of Levi 
Athias, Spaniard. It is clear that one of 
these editions was intended for Jewish, and 
the other for Christian readers. 

It would be vain to attempt in a book like 
this, to enter into many details concerning the 
lives and writings of the Spanish exiles who 
distinguished themselves for their learning. 
We may just give the names of Rabbi David 
Ben Joseph, Kabbi Joseph Ben Don David 
Ben Joseph, Kabbi David, Rabbi Gedaliah, 
Rabbi Jehudah, with many illustrious mem- 
bers of the family of Yachia; Dr. Jacob 
Mantinus, the translator of many works of 
Aristotle, Avicenna, and Averrhoes into Latin, 
Rabbi Jacob Berab, and Rabbi Joseph Ben 
Ephraim Caro. These and many others 
quitted the Peninsula either as children or as 
grown-up men; they afterwards established 
themselves and published their books at Imola, 
Padua, Ferrara, Constantinople, Salonichi, and 

* Duarte Pinhel is the Portuguese name, and Abra- 
ham Usque the Jewish name of the same editor ; and so, 
Jeronimo de Vargas is the Spanish, and Yom Toy 
Athias the Jewish name of his fellow-labourer. Thus 
there were not, as is often thought, four, but two editors* 



Digitized by 



Google 



396 LEARNED MEN AMONG 

especially at Saphet, in the Holy Land, where, 
as well as at Jerusalem, there was always a 
congregation of learned Sephardun* 

Among these exiles we. may look with 
thankfulness upon many sincerely converted 
to the Christian £dth. A learned Portuguese 
Jew, sumamed, after his conversion, John 
Hatohel, (the baptized,) published a version of 
the Psalms, with the title of ** Consolation of 
Christians, and light for the People of Israel," 
besides a catechetical dialc^ue on the Christian 
faith, with quotations from the Rabbins. 
Another Israelite, of the same race, but bom 
and educated at Saphet, in rabbinical theo- 
logy, was Judas Jona, who long governed the 
synagogue at Hamburgh. He was converted 
to the Christian faith in Poland, and, after 
many remarkable reverses, gave instruction in 
Hebrew to Bartolocci, and suggested to him 
the idea of his '* Bibliotheca Rabbinica." 

There are three more exiles of note to 
mention before taking leave of Italy. The 
first, Rabbi Joseph Ben Joshua Ben Meir, 
bom in the year 1496, at Avignon, of Spanish 
parents, who removed first to that city and 
afterwards to Genoa. He wrote in Hebrew a 
universal history, of which the first part de- 
scribed all the principal events from the Crea- 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE 8PAKISH EXILES. 397 

tion of the world to the year 1620, in which 
year the author lost his father. The second 
part relates with great detail the history of 
events that happened in his own lifetime till 
the year 1553. He introduced into this 
chronicle — written in the style of the historical 
books in the Bible — many particulars con- 
cerning his own nation, his family, and house- 
hold.* The preface begins with a genealogy, 
after the manner of Jewish writers of his time 
and country: — **Thu8 writeth Rabbi Joseph, 
the son of Joshua, the son of Meir, the son of 
Juda, the son of David, the son of Moses, a 
descendant of the Cohens (priests) who came 
from Avitium,f in the country of Spain." The 
ancestors of the author had retired to Avitium, 
or Benevente, as he relates in his chronicles, in 

♦ This preface, omitted in the edition by Proops of 
Amsterdam, (1733,) is found in the Venetian edition of 
1554, from which the English translation was made by 
Dr. C. H. R Bialloblotsky. London, 1835. 

t It is thus I think we should read, and not Goite, 
(^'l^^^'HIM , and not ^Id^'SIS) as the English translator has 
rendered it. Compare the chronicle itself for the year 
1431, where the translator himself thus renders the 
Hebrew word, and makes the remark that, bj Avitium we 
must understand Benevente, in the kingdom of Leon. We 
must also in the same place read Cuenga, and not Coin9a, 
and which is equally represented by the Hebrew letters 



Digitized by 



Google 



898 LEARNED MEN AKONG 

consequence of a great tribulation which fell 
upon the Jews of Guen^a, in Castile. Eabbi 
Joseph has also written in Hebrew another 
•* Chronicle of the French Crusades/' and of 
"Wars between Christians." Both these 
works, in spite of the great defects common to 
all Jewish historians since the days of Josephus, 
have yet been valuable as books of reference 
to superior historians in our own day. 

To a rather earlier period belongs another 
Jewish historian of Spanish birth, who has 
related in Hebrew the reverses and perse- 
cutions endured by his brethren, both in the 
Peninsula and elsewhere. This was Rabbi 
Salomon Ben Verga, who was bom in 145Q, 
and practised in Spain as a physician. His 
" Sceptre of Judah," composed in part from 
notes left by his father, and afterwards con- 
tinued by his son, Rabbi Joseph Ben Salomon 
Ben Verga, has been translated into Latin, 
and several of the modem languages. The 
book itself tells us that its author was em- 
ployed by the Spanish synagogues in several 
difficult negotiations during the later years of 
his residence in the Peninsula. We have but 
few particulars of his life, after he shared in 
the banishment of his brethren ; even the year / 
of his death is unknown. It is probable that 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE SPANISH EXILES. 399 

he lived for some years in Egypt, for his book^ 
which has obtained some celebrity, was printed 
in the original at Venice. 

Among all the works of the Spanish and 
Portuguese exiles at this memorable, and at 
the same time terrible period, there is, perhaps, 
not one so full of deep feeling and worthy of 
interest, both in its form and contents, as that 
of Samuel Usque, entitled, " Consolation for the 
Sorrows of Israel." He published it first in 
Portuguese, his mother tongue, and afterwards 
in Spanish, — the language of his father's fiimily. 
Both the one and the other were speedily placed 
by the Inquisition on the list of prohibited 
books.* In a preface addressed to the '^ exiled 
nobles of Portugal," he gives his reasons for 
the object, the language, and the subject of 
the work. It consists of three long dialogues, 
in which the sins and tribulations of the 
Jewish nation during the existence of the first 
and second temple, as well as after the de- 
struction of Jerusalem by the Romans, are 
related, lamented over, and alleviated by the 
blessed promises of God concerning the future 
restoration and glory of Israel. The persons 

* His " Consola^ao as Tribula9oen8 de Israel " was first 
published at Ferrara, 1 553, bj Abraham Usque, brother 
of the author, and was dedicated to Dona Gracia Nasi. 



Digitized by 



Google 



400 THE 8EPHARDIM IN FRANCE. 

who take part in these dialogues are three 
shepherds. The first Israel, under the name 
" Icabo," or Jacob, (which, by a kind of rab- 
binical play on the word, bears allusion to the 
name which Eli's daughter-in-law gave to her 
child,) with his two friends, Numeo and 
Zicareo, — names that, in the Hebrew, bear the 
signification of consolation and remembrance. 
The replies of the two latter speakers to the 
tragical lamentations of Icabo are drawn from 
a remembrance of God*s judgments on the 
enemies of Israel, and the magnificent pre- 
dictions of the prophets, which are summed up 
together in a poetical paraphrase of the 126th 
Psalm. Oh that Israel's belief and contem- 
plation of all God's promises to the captives of 
Zion were Yea and Amen in Jesus Christ, and 
him crucified! 

Abraham Usque, the famous printer, a 
brother of Babbi Samuel, composed a Spanish 
liturgy for the feast of the new year and the 
great day of Atonement. Another Usque, 
whose name of Salomon leads us to think 
of the father of Abraham and Samuel, wrote a 
Spanish translation of Petrarch, a tragedy of 
Esther, and a hymn on the Creation. 

Shortly after the passing of the edicts in 
1492 and 1497, many Jewish emigrants sought 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE 8EPHARDIM IN FRANCE, 401 

a refuge on the northern side of the Pyrenees ; 

and we never find that their tranquillity was in 

any way disturbed by the French kings. Half 

a century later these emigrants obtained from 

King John II. letters patent, securing to them, 

under the denomination of Portuguese, their 

entire liberty, and many desirable rights and 

privileges. These letters were registered by 

Parliament in the year 1660.* Subsequent 

kings confirmed these rights, and at all 

times protected their Portuguese subjects from 

any violence or ill-will felt against them on 

account of their religion. When the Edict of 

Nantes was revoked by Louis XIV. , this legal 

toleration seemed for a moment in danger, 

though no evil consequences finally ensued. 

An effort made in the reign of Louis XV. to cut 

short their privileges, likewise fell to the ground. 

In consequence of the annexation of Alsace to 

France towards the close of the seventeenth 

century, that kingdom contain&d three or four 

very different races of Jews within its territory, 

— those that belonged originally to France, 

those of Alsace, who were German Jews, the 

Italian Jews of Avignon, and the Spanish and 

Portuguese Jews, who were chiefly settled at 

* ''Recueil de Lettres patentes en faveur des Juifs 
Portogais." Parw, 1765. 



Digitized by 



Google 



402 PoaTUOUESE jews in Denmark. 

Bayonne and Bordeaux. The Spanish exiles 
who established themselves in France were, 
generally speaking, more distinguished by a 
high reputation for probity and by great 
wealth than, as elsewhere, for their learned men 
and literary productions.* Yet some names 
of note have been already recorded in France, 
to which we may add that of Pereira, librarian 
to the King at Paris in the eighteenth century, 
who had the honour of anticipating the cele- 
brated Abb6de rEp6ein his plans for instructing 
and communicating with the deaf and dumb. 
Several manuscript records preserved in the 
Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam show 
that a communication was hdd in the year 
1622 by Christian IV., of Denmark, with that 
synagogue, for the purpose of engaging some 
of its members to establish themselves in his 
dominions, with a promise of entire liberty of 
conscience, freedom of commerce, and special 
privileges.* It is a fact, that early in the 

* Beugnot says, ^^A tradition we cannot disbelieve 
teaches us to revere them, and point them out as models 
to their fellow-countrymen." 

''MS. Memorias do Establecimento e Progresso dos 
Judeos Portuguezes e Espanoles en esta famosa Cidade de 
Amsterdam." Ae. 5529 (1769^ por David Franco 
Mendes. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORTUGUESE JEWS AT HAMBURGH. 403 

seventeehtih century families and synagogues 
of Portuguese Jews were settled and flourishing 
in the Danish states, chiefly at Holstein. At 
Copenhagen, also, they had a community, hut 
their settlements at Gluckstadt and Altona 
have long been their chief establishments in that 
part of the world. With the exception of a 
few disputes with the magistrates and the 
Lutheran clergy, (chiefly on account of mar* 
riages between uncle and niece, which are 
allowed by the Jews,) they have enjoyed much 
peace and prosperity in both those cities. 

At Hamburgh, their well«being has been 
even more remarkable, and the protection 
granted to Jewish refugees by the King of 
Denmark seems to have been one of its prin- 
cipal causes. We know, from the history of 
commerce, the spirit of rivalry which has ever 
existed between this free Imperial city and 
the commercial towns of Holstein. Altona in 
particular was feared as a rival by the magis- 
trates of Hamburgh, when they beheld her 
enriched by the establishment of a Jewish 
population, with its wealth and important 
mercantile connexions. Notwithstanding the 
opposition of some of the citizens and the 
Protestant clergy, and in spite of the com- 
plaints of the Emperor — that a city which 



Digitized by 



Google 



404 PORTUGUESE JEWS AT HAMBURGH. 

had expelled Roman Catholics should admit 
Jews, — the magistrates of Hamburgh consi- 
dered themselves compelled, by their com- 
mercial position with respect to Altona, not 
only to admit, hut to confer many privileges 
upon the Portuguese Jews. Since that time, 
Hamburgh, as well as Amsterdam, has been 
honoured with the appellation of " Little Jeru- 
salem." The synagogues in that city have 
kept up a close connexion with those of Am- 
sterdam, by means of a constant correspond- 
ence, and of the intimate family connexion 
subsisting between the inhabitants of the two 
cities. Among the most distinguished Rabbins 
who have adorned the synagogue of Ham- 
burgh, we may mention the Rabbi David 
Cohen de Lara, in high esteem among Chris- 
tians also, as the author of a Talmudic Lexi- 
con, which he was prevented from completing 
by his death, in 1672. The Pastor, Edzard, 
who had much at heart the conversion of 
Israel to the true Messiah, had many inter- 
views with this learned Israelite, from which 
he was sometimes led to look for a hopeful 
result ; but in what faith the learned Rabbi 
of Hamburgh died has remained uncertain. 

The social prosperity enjoyed by the Jews 
of Hamburgh was much advanced by the high 



Digitized by 



Google 



SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE JEWS. 405 

honour awarded to some distinguished families 
who were employed as agents or residents by 
different foreign powers. The kings of Den-» 
mark, the kings of Portugal, after the success 
sion of the house of Braganza, in 1640, and 
also Queen Christina, of Sweden, employed a 
notable member of the synagogue as their 
representative in the city of Hamburgh. By 
the last-named country, this charge was en* 
trusted to Don Manuel Texeira, whose father^ 
Don Diego Texeira Sampaio, had received, in 
1667, from Frederick III., of Denmark, an. 
Act granting complete freedom and great 
privileges to the Portuguese Jews, which were 
afterwards confirmed by Christian V. About 
fifty descendants of the family of Texeira, in 
the direct male line, are now living at Amster- 
dam. In other parts of the ancient German 
empire, in Poland, and in Russia, there may 
be a few individuals, or even single families, 
who have preserved a memorial of their 
southern origin ; but they have never formed 
a synagogue either among Protestants, Roman 
Catholics, or Greeks. 

. The country which has decidedly shown the 
greatest favour, and afforded the warmest 
hospitality to the scattered Israelites of Spain, 
has been, since the dose of the sixteenth cenr 



Digitized by 



Google 



406 SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE JEWS 

tary, the reformed and emancipated Republic 
of the Low Countries. It was, indeed, a striking 
interposition of Divine Providence which 
brought the epoch of the Reformation so near 
to the time when the Jews were banished from 
Spain and Portugal, which also brought about 
in Holland, half a century after, that m^nor* 
able struggle of four-and-twenty years for 
religion and liberty, of which one result was 
to provide a place of refuge and hospitality for 
the descendants of Abraham. When the first 
Jews, or new Christians from Spain, made 
their appearance in the Low Countries, there 
remained not a vestige of those French and 
German Israelites whose troubles and ca- 
lamities we have before related. The first 
indication of this re*establishment of the 
Israelites in the southern part of the united 
provinces is found in the year 1516. At 
that time, some refrigees from Spain presented 
themselyes to Charles V., the grandson and 
successor of Ferdinand and Isabella, in order 
to renew the entreaties and the ofiers made by 
the Jewish nation for permission to reside and 
exercise their religion in his dominions. 
Their appeal was unheeded ; for severe edicts 
entirely exduded new Christians from Hol- 
land as well as Spain (1532—1549). We 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE NETHERLANDS. 407 

have already noticed the ineffectual attempt 
made in the reign of Philip II., by Don Joseph 
Miqnez. And yet, notvdthstanding these 
edicts, many Jews were to be found in these 
provinces before, as well as after, their separa- 
tion from Spain, holding the same position as 
those who remained in the Peninsula. Their 
religion had long ceased to be tolerated ; but 
by practising it with the greatest secresy, they 
lived and prospered under Spanish names, and 
among Spanish families and connexions. Both 
at the Conrt of Madrid and in the Government 
of the Spanish Netherlands at Brussels, de* 
scendants of Israel were to be found, who 
afterwards, either alone or with their families, 
quitted the Church of Bome to make an open 
profession of Judaism at Amsterdam. At 
Antwerp, also, the concealed Jews were very 
numerons, and had established academies for 
the study both of Hebrew and Spanish litera^ 
ture. The ancestors of many families who 
have since settled either at Amsterdam or the 
Hague, long resided at Antwerp. Among 
them was Don Manuel Alvarez de Pinto y 
Ribera, in 1640, Gentleman of the Household 
to the King of Spain, and Knight of the 
Order of St James, from whom descended the 
&mily of De Pinto, well knoYm in the synaF 



Digitized by 



Google 



408 PORTUGUESE JEWS IN 

gogue of Holland ; Don Francisco de Silva y 
Soils, afterwards Marquis of Montfort, who, at 
the head of his company, when serving under 
the Emperor Leopold I., contributed greatly 
to the defeat of the French Marechal de 
Cr6qui in the campaign of 1673; Don An- 
tonio Lopes Suasso, agent of the King of 
Spain, and invested by that prince with the 
barony of Avemas le Gras, in Brabant. It 
was this Baron Suasso who, when afterwards 
established at the Hague, offered to Wil- 
liam III., in 1628, a million of money for his 
expedition to England, to be repaid only in 
case of success. 

Most of these Spanish and Portuguese Jew- 
ish families established themselves within a 
short interval in the Protestant Low Countries, 
to seek there complete freedom for the exer- 
cise of their own religion. Their first settle- 
ment at Amsterdam was made on the side of 
East Friesland. It was from Embden (a 
town of deep interest to Holland in the history 
of its Reformation), that, in the year 1594, ten 
individuals of the Portuguese fionilies of 
Lopes, Homen, and Pereira came to Anister- 
dam, where they soon resumed their original 
Israelitish name of Abendana* They were 
accompamed by a German Eabbi from the 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE UNITED PROVINCES, 409 

town of Embden, by whom afterwards many 
others who sought refuge in the capital of 
Holland were circumcised; to his posterity, 
the synagogue of Amsterdam granted, in re- 
turn, many privileges, especially a perpetual 
right of membership. All the writings and 
memorials of the synagogue agree, that since 
the year 1596, the Great Day of Atonement 
has been celebrated by a small community of 
Portuguese Jews at Amsterdam. The mayor 
of the town having surprised the assembly, 
took it at first for a meeting of the Boman 
Catholics, which, at that time, was prohibited; 
when better informed, he still left them 
entirely unmolested. In 1598, the first syna> 
gogue was built in that capital, of which one 
of the chief founders was the agent, Don Samuel 
Palache, whom we have before mentioned. 
Ten years after, the increase of the population 
required the erection of a second synagogue, 
and in 1618 of a third. In 1639, the three 
were united to form, from that time forward, 
one single and inseparable community of 
Spanish and Portuguese Jews, which, as a 
consequence of its constantly increasing num- 
bers and prosperity, founded, in 1675, a 
handsome synagogue, situated in that part of 
the town where the refugees from the Penin- 



Digitized by 



Google 



410 SPANISH AKD FORTUGUESS JEWS 

sula had first established themselves in the 
neighbourhood of the Amstel. This dedica- 
tion was, at the same time, the seal of a 
perfect union between the different bodies, 
who, as we have seen, before the year 1639 
possessed each their separate synagogue and 
administration. It also entirely reunited the 
two parties which had been formed on the 
appearance of the false Messiali, Sabbathai 
Sevi, which, in the yeai* 1666, had threatened 
to divide the synagogue. The treaty of union 
between all the Spanish and Portuguese Jews 
6f Amsterdam w£is ratified by the magistrates 
of the town, conformably to the wish of the 
rulers of the synagogue themselves, who, 
from that time, felt their decrees to be more 
firmly ratified by the authority of the Govern- 
ment. 

During this interval, the German and Polish 
Jews had also established their synagogues 
in the capital of Holland. For a long time 
they had many difficulties to contend with; 
but in the year 1686 permission was at last 
granted to them to buy and appropriate to 
themselves the burying-ground of Muiderbank, 
at some distance from the city; and in 1656 
they were allowed to erect a house of prayer. 
In after-times, this portion of the Jewish 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE UNITED PBOYINCES. 411 

population received a considerable accession* 
The Jews in Poland and Lithuania had 
endured great cruelties from the Cossacks and 
from popular disturbances, and had been 
obliged, in consequence, to leave the country. 
Three thousand Israelites embarked for the 
Texel, and soon received hospitality at Am- 
sterdam, where they wished to establish them* 
selves, but not without possessing some Ineans 
of subsistence. To them, as to their brethren 
from Germany, was permitted a free exercise 
of their religious worship and the establish^i 
ment of a synagogue; but soon after they 
were desired to form, together with these, one 
single congregation, and forbidden to assemble 
separately. 

Thus, the Jewish population of Holland 
was divided into two separate and distinct 
bodies, — the Spanish and Portuguese syna* 
gogue, and the German and Polish synagogue. 
However these two bodies might differ in 
their historical recollections, their habits, and 
customs, still both synagogues alike acknow- 
ledged their union in the law of Moses and 
the traditions of the Eabbius, their common 
descent from Abraham, and their expectation 
of the promises connected with that descent. 
They shared in the same rights and privilege^ 
T 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



412 SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE JEWS 

and alike gave proof of their fidelity and 
attachment to the country of their adoption, 
and to its rulers and form of government 

The rights and privileges granted to both 
bodies of the Jews during the period which 
preceded the revolution of 1795 in Holland, 
were looked upon as important, both by those 
who granted, and those who received them. 
As to the magistracy, and other public offices, 
the State at that time intrusted them to none 
but those who belonged to the National Re- 
formed Church, The Jews, on their side, 
everywhere regarded as strangers, (having 
their faces and their hearts turned towards 
Palestine and the promise of a coming Mes- 
siah), to use their own words, only requested 
from the Christian authorities, ^' a mild hos- 
pitality, or not too harsh an exile," ♦ They 
could, therefore, easily content themselves 
with a degree of liberty, which, according to 
the opinion of the present day, " that all men 
are equal in the eye of the law," would be 
looked upon as insufficient. Liberty of con- 
science, the free exercise of their religion, the 
practice of their own laws and traditions, and 

• The very expressions made use of hj Joseph Athias 
in dedicating his edition of the Old Testament to the 
States-GeneraL 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN HOLLAND. 413 

even, with few exceptions, the observance of 
their national customs, were secured to them. 
Their trade was protected, their way of ob- 
taining their livelihood rather assisted than 
hindered. Even their right to enforce obedi- 
ence to the religion of their fathers, within 
the limits of the synagogue, by the use of 
discipline and excommunication, was acknow- 
ledged. All this compensated the Israelite 
of those days for his exclusion from public 
offices, even from those which were most in 
accordance with his taste and disposition, such 
as the dignity of professor, and the profession 
of the lawyer. They were also excluded from 
all guilds or companies, except those of the 
physicians and brokers, though this did not 
prevent their being employed by their own 
countrymen in any other profession or trade, 
provided they had received admission as 
citizens of the town. On the whole, a com- 
parison of times and facts brings us to the 
conclusion, that the Jews, at least those exiled 
from Spain, were indisputably more prosper- 
ous under the limited and partial liberty which 
they enjoyed under the Republic and its 
stadtholders, than under the unlimited free- 
dom which modem constitutions seem to se- 
cure to them. Yet each period, especially 
for Israel, has a peculiar dispensation, and 



Digitized by 



Google 



414 SPANISH AND POBTUGUESE JEWS 

assuredly the people have, of all nations, the 
least motive for retrograding, provided only 
they are not mistaken in the nature of that 
progress with which the spirit of the age would 
flatter them. 

We have already said that, with regard to 
the internal administration of the synagogue, 
great liberty was left to the Jews themselves, 
who were considered on the footing of a nation 
apart. In Holland, however, they never at- 
tempted to confer the title of " Prince of the 
Captivity," or ** Great Rabbi," as formerly, in 
Asia, in Spain, and Portugal, or even in Africa. 
A certain degree of jurisdiction was vested in 
the Pamassim (or rulers of the synagogue); 
but as this jurisdiction was limited to cases 
under a certain amount, it was, in fact, only a 
kind of arbitration, or lesser court of justice. 
At all events, it was very far from extending, 
as in former times, to the judgment of criminal 
cases. Lastly, the executive authority of the 
synagogue -was not intrusted to the Chief 
Rabbi and his assistants (who were only con- 
sulted on questions of religion), but entirely to 
the Pamassim and the elders. 

Altogether the settlement of the Jews in 
Holland, in the seventeenth century, though 
prosperous and endowed with many privileges, 
appears on a very inferior scale when com- 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN HOLLAND. 415 

pared with the historical and literary memorials 
of their forefathers in the Spanish Peninsula. 
This inferiority is especially manifest in regard 
to theology, science, and poetry. The Hebrew 
tongue, it is true, was still carefully studied, 
and a succession to the line of its ancient 
masters thus more or less kept up; but the 
holy tongue was no longer in use for com- 
mentaries and paraphrases of Holy Scripture, 
as in the time of Yarchi, Aben Ezra, and 
Maimonides. Spanish and Portuguese were 
now the only languages employed by the 
learned Jews of the Peninsula, both for their 
writings and sermons. Yet the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries have not been entirely 
deficient in works worthy of note on theology 
and philosophy, written by the Sephardim. 
We have only to consult the " Bibliothecas," 
from which we have already more than once 
made quotations, in order to appreciate the 
number of commentaries on Scripture, ver- 
sions of the Hebrew, dissertations, sermons, 
religious and moral treatises, and poems, pub- 
lished during that period by the exiles from 
the Peninsula in Holland. Here we must 
content ourselves with mentioning only a few 
of the most celebrated writers and persons of 
greatest note, the better to exemplify the 



Digitized by 



Google 



416 HENA88EH BEX ISRAEL. 

character of this period in the history of the 
Spanish and Portuguese Jews. 

Among the authors and learned men brought 
up in the synagogues of Holland, no one has 
been more generally known as a theologian 
than the Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel. Bom 
at Lisbon, in 1604, he came, when a chihl, to 
Amsterdam, with his father, Joseph Ben Israel, 
who escaped, with some difficulty, from a 
violent persecution in Portugal. Gifted with 
an enlarged and penetrating mind, he early 
became familiar with the elements of Jewish 
theology under the tuition of Rabbi Uziel, and 
acquired also a knowledge of the Hebrew, 
Gastilian, Portuguese, Greek, Latin, and 
Arabic languages. In his fifteenth year he 
was already listened to with interest as a 
preacher ; and in his eighteenth he was chosen 
Chief Rabbi of one of the three synagogues at 
Amsterdam. He continued in this office till 
the time of his journey to England, soon after 
which we find him making efforts to negotiate 
with the Protector Cromwell, for the admission 
of the Jewish nation to Grreat Britain. On 
this occasion the University of Oxford con- 
ferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and 
Medicine upon his son, Samuel Ben Israel. 
He returned, in 1658, from England, where 



Digitized by 



Google 



MENAS8EH BEN ISRAEL. 417 

his mission had produced no immediate result, 
and settled at Middleburgh ; in the neighbour- 
hood of which town the tomb of his son 
Samuel rs still to be seen, who died some 
years before his father. Among his numerous 
works, written partly in Latin and partly in 
Spanish (some in both these languages), or 
as occasion required, in Portuguese and in 
English, we will here note only the most 
remarkable, viz., his ^^ Treatise on the frailty 
of human nature, and man's inclination to sin," 
in which he combats the doctrine of Felagius, 
but on grounds which the Christian Church 
looks upon as semi-Pelagian ; — the '^ Hope of 
Israel," to which we have already alluded ; — 
** Three books on the Resurrection of the 
dead;" and "The Conciliation," a work in 
which he endeavours, with much ingenuity, 
to reconcile the apparent contradictions of the 
Old Testament. This last work has gained 
for him the praise of even orthodox theologians 
of the Reformed Church, though on many 
accounts they were not in general disposed to 
look favourably upon him. To his exegetical 
and dogmatical works we may add several 
books relating to the Jewish Liturgy, the 
worship of the synagogue, and rabbinical 
ordinances. He rendered especial service to 
T 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



418 HBNAS8EH BEN I8BAEL. 

his nation, by editing a Spanish version of the 
Pentateuch and Haphtorahs ; * and to Chris- 
tians as well as Jews, by editing several beau- 
tiful editions of the Hebrew Old Testament 
His printing presses, superintended chiefly by 
his sons, passed, after his family became ex- 
tinct, into that of the Athias's,f of Amsterdam, 
w}io in their turn bequeathed their presses to 
the equally celebrated family of Proops, be- 
longing to the German synagogue of that city. 
Menasseh Ben Israel, taking into considera- 
tion the difierence of time and place, may, in 
more than one respect, be compared with Don 
Isaac Abarbanel, with whose descendants he 
was connected by marriage. Like the cele- 
brated Rabbi of the fifteenth century, Manasseh 
Ben Israel appears to have been more admi- 
rable in his learning than loveable in his 
character. At all events, modesty was not one 
of its pervading virtues, if we may judge from 
the manner in which he sometimes speaks of 
himself, and the way in which he is recorded 
to have conducted himself towards the syna- 

* Lessons taken from the prophetical books. 

f The States-General of the Netherlands presented to 
Joseph Athias a golden medal and chain, as an acknow- 
ledgment for his beautiful edition of the Hebrew Old 
Testament. 



Digitized by 



Google 



UBIEL DA COSTA. 419 

gbgue and its rulers. Perhaps the great 
attention paid io him by many learned Chris- 
tians of different denominations contributed to 
inspure him with too high an opinion of him- 
sel£ The Roman Catholic theologian and 
orator, Padre Vieira, of Portugal, is said to have 
been more than once among his hearers ; while 
Peter Daniel Huet, the learned Bishop of 
Avranches, visited and consulted him. In 
Holland, the Remonstrants and those who 
befriended them, as Grotius, Yossius, and 
Barlseus, gave him every proof of their interest 
and esteem. The Calvinists at that time were 
less favourably disposed towards the Jewish 
nation, some of them even thinking it right to 
oppose their admission and the toleration of 
their religion. In later times, when the future 
calling of Israel, according to the prophets, 
began to meet with more sympathy in the 
hearts of Christians, this less favourable dispo- 
sition gave way in many to a conviction, that 
the residence of the children of Israel in a 
Christian country should rather be looked 
upon as a blessing. 
The too well known Uriel da Costa* was 

* His name when in Portugal was Grabriel da Costa, 
but he is more generally known hj the Latinized appella- 
tion of A. Costa, which we find appended to his List work 



Digitized by 



Google 



420 UBIBL DA C08TA. 

long a cotemporary of Menasseh Ben Israel in 
the synagogue of Amsterdam, of whom it 
may be said, that both his life and death were^ 
in a melancholy sense of the word, an ^^ ex- 
ample." Bom at Oporto, about 1590, of 
noble parents, he was brought up as became 
his birth by a fiither who» though descended 
from ancestors formerly brought by violence 
to a profession of the Roman CSatholic fisdth, 
was himself a sincere Christian, of high and 
honourable character. His son's disposition 
was not altogether devoid of generosity and 
greatness of mind, and in his younger days 
he had some inclination to piety. Doubts, 
brought on by bold rather than deep specula- 
tion, estranged him in the first instance from 
the Boman Catholic religion, to lead him on 
afterwards from the Rabbinical Judaism of the 
modem synagogue to the most decided Saddu- 
ceeism of ancient times« Being at twenty-five 
years of age canon and treasurer of a collegiate 
church in his native city, he sacrificed, with- 
out hesitation, his rank, his wealth, and his 
country, in order that he might freely profess, 
in Holland, the religion in which he then 
hoped to find rest for his troubled soul. His 

composed in that language, entitled, '* Exemplar Vita 
bumame." 



Digitized by 



Google 



URIEL DA COSTA. 421 

mother and younger brothers, led by his influ- 
ence, accompanied him on his journey to join 
the synagc^ue at Amsterdam, where the family 
has ever since been established. But Uriel 
da Costa was as far from finding peace of 
mind in the Protestant Netherlands as he had 
been in Roman Catholic Portugal, There^ he 
had cast off the New Testament togetly^r with 
the traditions of Rome ; and here^ he denied the 
Divine authority of the Old Testament toge- 
ther with the hated traditions of the Rabbins. 
Thus was commenced in the newly-formed 
synagogue of Amsterdam the most violent 
struggle, perhaps, which has been recorded in 
the modem history of Israel between the sect 
of the Pharisees and that of the Sadducees. 
Here, however, there were not, properly speak- 
ing, two contending parties ; it was one single 
individual who opposed a whole community 
holding Pharisaical tenets, and who displayed 
in this opposition a boldness of character which 
would be worthy of admiration in a better 
cause. The contest broke out with violence 
when Uriel had unfolded his whole system in 
a Portuguese work, entitled " Examination of 
Pharisaical Tradition." The book was not yet 
published, but was circulating in manuscript 



Digitized by 



Google 



438 URIEL DA COSTA; 

among the members of £he synagogue, when 
Dr. Samuel da SUva took up the pen against 
its author, and published also in Portuguese 
a *^ Treatise on the Immortality of the Soul," 
(1623.) In the striking preface to this work, 
the errors of. Uriel are successively passed in 
review. These errors, taken all together, 
amount to the most complete and avowed 
Sadduceeism. The law of Moses was still 
looked upon by liim as divine, but all tradition 
was rejected, and among traditions he denied 
** the resurrection of the dead and the life to 
come." The work of Da Silva, in which the 
writer of the " Examination " is only alluded 
to by his first name, out of respect for his 
family, is not wanting in power; its author 
declaims with considerable vehemence against 
his adversary, not, however, entirely without 
hope of bringing him round. Its effect was 
quite the reverse ; for, during that same year, 
Uriel published the " Examination," enlarged 
by a refutation of Da Silva's treatise. The 
chief magistrate of the city of Amsterdam then 
took cognisance of the matter, and commenced 
judicial proceedings against the author of a 
work which openly denied the immortality of 
the soul. The copies were seized, and the 



Digitized by 



Google 



PBIEL DA C08TA. 423 

author arrested. His brothers,* who were 
entirely averse to his opinions, obtained his 
release upon bail, and the affair was com- 
promised by the payment of 300 florins, and 
the confiscation of the books. 

From that time the unhappy Sadducee 
wandered more and more widely in the path of 
error, and moreover gave up that complete 
openness of character with which, at any rate, 
the fatal warfiEure had hitherto been carried on. 
He cast off all belief in a direct revelation from 
God, and became, both in opinion and practice, 
a complete Deist ; but, tired with a contest in 
which all were against him^ and forsaken by 
even his nearest relations, he resolved at all 
events to effect an outward reconciliation with 
the synagogue. This was obtained by the 
mediation of one of his cousins, — a man 
possessed of weight and consideration in the 
community, — ^fifteen years after the disputes 
had commenced. 

The contest, however, soon rekindled more 
fiercely than ever, to terminate only in the 
catastrophe, which ended the melancholy 

• One of his brothers, Joseph da'Costa, was the Presi- 
dent of the Parnassim, to whom Menasseh Ben Israel 
dedicated his Spanish edition of the ** Hope of Israel," 
1650. 



Digitized by 



Google 



424 URIEL BA C08TA. 

career of the wretched Saddacee. Fresh de« 
clarations of his views concerning the law 
of Moses and the ordinances of the Rabbins 
were followed by seven years of complete 
isolation, apart from all his brethren, and in 
the midst of a nation whose language he could 
not speak. In this melancholy position he 
determined a second time to become reconciled 
to the synagogue, and to submit to the penance 
which it imposed with inexorable severity. 
The well-known *farUf stripes save one were 
not spared, though it is remarkable that after 
this instance, we find no mention made of their 
infliction in the modem history of the syna- 
gogue. The mind of the wretched unbeliever 
could not bear up against such a degradation. 
A few days after this exposure he put an end 
to his life with a pistol, after haviug, with a 
calmness which in such circumstances must 
excite astonishment, written his own biography 

♦ ThiB panishment, which was always inflicted within 
the walls of the synagogue, is well known from the 
mention made of it in the New Testament, 2 Cor. xii. 24 ; 
Acts xxvi. 11; Matt z. 17. According to Jewish 
tradition this penalty was the next in degree to excom- 
munication, and was not looked upon as peculiarly 
degrading. See Witsius in Yiti Pauli, sect i., who calls 
it *^ excommunicatione minor atque honestior." 



Digitized by 



Google 



SPINOZA. 42«> 

in excellent Latin, in which he protests with 
the greatest vehemence against the acts of the 
synagogue. This hiography, entitled "Ex- 
emplar Vitae humance," which is confirmed in 
every part by concurring testimony, fell into 
the hands of a distinguished personage at 
Amsterdam, who gave a copy of it to the 
Eemonstrant Professor, Episcopius. This copy 
was left by him to his nephew and successor, 
Philip de Limborch, who published it, with a 
refutation of the erroneous opinions of its 
unhappy author. 

Benedictus d'Espinosa, commonly called 
Spinoza, belongs to the generation which suc- 
ceeded that of Uriel da Costa. Their lives 
and characters exhibit points of resemblance 
and of difierence, both equally striking. Both 
were by birth Israelites from the Spanish 
Peninsula, and sprung from distinguished 
parents; both were cast off and condemned 
by their countrymen and by the synagogue ; 
both, alas! were equally alienated from any 
belief in a personal and direct revelation of 
God to men. While one was lost in the 
dreary void of natural Deism, the other 
plunged into the depths of an elaborate system 
of Pantheism. One, carried away by the im- 
petuosity of his character, threw down in- 



Digitized by 



Google 



426 8PIK0ZA. 

discriminately error and truth, and thus fell a 
Tictim to his own madness ; the other, on the 
contrary, built up with astonishing tranquillity 
of mind and mathematical accuracy a system of 
philosophy and morals which has long survived 
its author ; nay, amid the moral and political 
agitation of the present century, has come to 
life again with renewed vigour. 

It would be out of place here to discuss the 
system of Spinoza as unfolded by himself in 
his " Tractatus Theologico-politicus," (1760,) 
and in his posthumous writings, viz., his 
" Morals " and ** Letters." In the historical 
view which we exclusively take we will merely 
remark, that the Pantheism of Spinoza, how- 
ever far removed from God as revealed in the 
Old Testament, is yet distinguished by marked 
characteristics of an Israelitish origin. Spinoza 
was undoubtedly a Pantheist; not in that 
grosser sense of the word which substitutes the 
whole existing universe — ^that is to say, a 
deity without life and reason — for the living 
God of creation, revelation and redemption. 
But he was so in that far more subtle, and 
therefore more dangerous sense, which at- 
tributes real existence to God alone (^^ the 
eternal and only Being,*') and admits of no 
other existence, either material or immaterial, 



Digitized by 



Google 



SPINOZA. 427 

visible or invisible, but as a modification of 
that one only Being, and not as a work apart 
from God. Thus, the Pantheism of Spinoza is, 
in fact, i-eally derived, though by a polluted and 
unholy channel, from a name and a truth 
which had been revealed, — the name of Him 
who is " I AM," tlic Jehovah of Israel. It was 
on this foundation that the Judeo-Spanish phi- 
losopher, though refusing to submit his in- 
tellect to the historical tnith of the Old Testa- 
ment, or to acknowledge any interference 
of God in the affairs of the world, whether by 
means of miracles or any other direct agency, 
formed for himself (out of an idea which 
he had borrowed from revelation) a system — 
we might almost say a religion — the most con- 
sistent, perhaps, and the most conscientious 
of any that have been devised without the 
pale of revelation. For, together with the 
religious system he had invented, he had 
linked an abstract, but apparently fair, form 
of morality. The two together furnish this 
conclusion: "We require to know Grod." 
" To know him and to love him, without look- 
ing for reward, is, in itself, the principle of all 
duty and of all blessedness." No one can 
deny the fact, that the practice of Spinoza was 
guided by these principles, or we might rather 



Digitized by 



Google 



428 SPINOZA. 

say, that his whole system was the creation of 
a naturally elevated and noble character, joined 
to a profound and comprehensive intellect. 
^The career of the celebrated Pantheist, after 
his expulsion from the synagogue, was short, 
and by no means eventful. We vnll, however, 
recount a few circumstances that are worthy 
of note. Bom at Amsterdam, in 1632, of 
noble parents belonging to the Portuguese 
synagogue, Spinoza was in youth thoroughly 
instructed in the religion and theology of the 
Jews. He received lessons in Latin from the 
physician, Van Den Ende, whose sentiments 
are said to have influenced those of his pupil. 
The writings of Descartes, at all events, had a 
far greater share in making Spinoza a philoso- 
pher, and furnishing the basis upon which he 
built his famous system. His entrance on 
this career soon began to work in him a 
gradual alienation from the synagogue; he 
neglected its public services, and disputed 
with the Rabbins upon points of religion. 
Every effort to induce him to give up his 
opinions proved unsuccessful, and the division 
broke out publicly. Spinoza was censured by 
the synagogue, and even threatened with death 
by the multitude as he came out of a public 
meeting. He was thus obliged to leave 



Digitized by 



Google 



SPINOZA. 429 

Amsterdam to save his life, and removed to 
Rynburg, near Leyden, then to Voorburg, 
and finally to the Hague. Scarcely had he 
left the capital, when the Rabbins pronounced 
upon him the great excommunication ; against 
which he wrote a long protest, but never 
published it. When thus cut off from the 
synagogue, he voluntarily gave up his share 
of the family property, and in future earned a 
scanty livelihood by preparing lenses and 
optical glasses, employing every leisure hour 
in the study of philosophy and the sciences. 
In order to devote himself more freely to these 
pursuits, he twice refused a professorship at 
Heidelburgh, offered him by the Elector 
Palatine. 

Though Spinoza lived in complete retire- 
ment, he maintained an extensive acquaintance 
and correspondence with friends and learned 
men, both in his own country and elsewhere. 
Whilst at the Hague, it appears that he was 
employed by the Pensionary, John de Witt, in 
some political negotiations, especially with the 
Duke of Luxembourg, at Utrecht, during the 
perilous year of 1672. When the Prince de 
Conde was with the French army in Holland, 
about the same time, he offered the philoso- 
pher a safe-conduct, that he might have the 



Digitized by 



Google 



430 DJEU ISAAC OROBIO D£ CASTRO. 

pleasure of seeing and conversing with hiou 
About five years after, Spinoza died of con- 
sumption, and was followed to the grave by a 
large attendance. All that is known of his 
private and domestic life bears the same 
impress of calmness, moderation, and dignity, 
which we have already noticed, and which 
might have made him an ornament of the 
Christian commimity. In Spinoza were to be 
found the seeds of a Pascal, if only he could 
have received Christianity, of which, indeed, 
he never spoke without respect as a Divine 
historical fact; if he had determined to ex* 
amine its tenets apart from the artificial light 
of human speculation ; if he could but have 
seen, that the highest deductions of reason lead 
us on to faith. But, alas ! to him, as well as 
to many of his imitators, the admirers of 
merely human reasoning, those words of the 
Lord Jesus are applicable, that God ^^ bath 
revealed unto babes things that are hid from 
the wise and prudent. Even so. Father ! for 
so it seemed good in thy sight." 

Dr. Isaac (formerly Don Batlliason) Orobio 
de Castro is the representative of an entirely 
different party among the Spanish and Fortu* 
guese Jews, during a period which corre- 
sponds with the time of Spinoza, and reaches 



Digitized by 



Google 



BB. ISAAC OBOBIO BE GASTBO. 431 

beyond it to the latter half of the seventeenth 
oentuiy. Both the life and writings of this 
learned man bear the stamp of modem Phari- 
saical Judaism, a contrast alike to Infidel phi- 
losophy and to the Gospel of truth. He was 
the son of Je^yish parents, who lived under 
the denomination of new Christians at Bra^ 
ganza, in Portugal, and afterwards at Malaga, 
Born in this town about the year 1616, and 
having studied at Alcala de Henarez, he 
taught medicine and metaphysics at Seville, 
not without falling under the suspicions of the 
Inquisition. Through the tale-bearing of a 
Moorish slave, who reported that a distinction 
of meats, and other tokens of Judaism^ were 
to be met with in liis house, Orobio fell into 
the hands of that fearful tribunal. After he 
had endured three years of imprisonment, and 
the infliction of unheard-of tortures, the In* 
quisition was still unable to convict him. 
Obliged, in consequence, to declare him only 
suspected^ but not convicted of Judaism, it was 
content with compelling him to leave the 
country. Let us remark upon this occasion, a 
striking difference between the religion of 
modem Judaism, and the Christian faith. 
With the Christian, the first effect of faith is 
" confession" (Rom. x. 10) ; with the Jew, it is 



Digitized by 



Google 



432 DR. ISAAC OROBIO BE CASTEO. 

the practice of the law, either in secret or 
openly, with permission in time of persecution 
to act as best suits the emergency of the 
moment A striking and characteristic con- 
sequence this of the essential diflPerence be* 
tween a religion that teaches salvation through 
a living fiedth, and that which makes it de- 
pendent on outward meritorious works, — not, 
indeed, excluding martyrdom, but not requir- 
ing it as a matter of absolute necessity, when 
opportunity is offered for concealment or dis- 
simulation. Thus Orobio could think he was 
faithful to his God, while in the midst of 
tortures he persisted in retaining his Judaism, 
and at the same time denying that he did so. 
When released, he settled at Toulouse, where 
he was appointed Professor of Medicine and 
Councillor to Louis XIV. At last, wishing 
to enjoy the free exercise of his religion, he 
left France, and at the age of forty settled at 
Amsterdam. He continued to practise as a 
physician in that city till the year of his 
death, 1686, and his descendants remain to 
this day in the capital of Holland. Among 
his numerous polemical works in defence of 
the Jewish religion, his controversy with 
Philip de Limborch was published by that 
learned Remonstrant, under the title of 



Digitized by 



Google 



THOMAS D£ FINEDO. 433 

"Friendly Discussion with a learned Jew, 
on the Truth of Christianity." Other writ- 
ings of Orobio's against Christianity remain to 
our day, and have circulated in manuscript 
among the Portuguese Jews. Similar manu* 
scripts are to be met with in different 
libraries, the productions of the Rabbins Mor- 
teira and Saporta. 

Thomas (called, in the synagogue, Isaac) de 
Finedo, who came, nearly at the same time as 
Orobio, to seek a refuge in Amsterdam from 
inquisitorial persecution, was more famed for 
his proficiency in Greek and the ancient 
classics, than as a Jewish theologian. De- 
scended from the family of Finheiro, of Fran- 
coso, in Portugal, he received his education 
at Madrid, where he was indebted to the 
training of the Jesuits for his literary attain- 
ments. He had already reached a mature 
age when the suspicions of the Inquisition 
obliged him to quit the scene of his studies 
and the society of his learned friends in the 
capital of Spain, to live in safety in the United 
Provinces. He differs from Orobio de Ccutro 
in this especially, that never, in any of his 
writings, has he attacked the Christian re- 
ligion; on the contrary, he takes pleasure in 
acknowledging its beneficial influence in 



Digitized by 



Google 



434 THOlfAS D£ FINEDO. 

society, thoi^h he does not spare the tribunal 
of the Inquisition. He finished and published 
at Amsterdam, in 1678, his edition of Stepha- 
nus Byzantinus (vephrdKiioy)^ with a copious 
commentary, and dedicated the work to the 
Marquis of Mondejos, of the house of Men- 
doza, ever devoted to the encouragement of 
literature. The noble Marquis whom we have 
just named, warmly expressed in a letter to 
the Judeo-Spanish poet, De Barrios, his regret 
at the death of Finedo, and more especially at 
his dying in the profession of Judaism. 

The Jews of the Peninsula, even when 
exiled to the Low Countries, continued to set 
a high value upon the poetry of their an- 
cestors, although the period of the great 
masters in modern Hebrew poetry had so long 
gone by. Even in Spanish and Portuguese 
poetry they made but moderate proficiency in 
Holland, and never, even in that, passed 
mediocrity. Yet poetical and literary asso- 
ciations, both for Hebrew and Spanish, were 
not wanting either in the northern or southern 
portion of the Netherlands, while distin- 
guished families, such as those of Pinto, Bel- 
monte, and Cariel, willingly threw open their 
houses on these occasions. Even the syna- 
gogue has witnessed within its walls, before 



Digitized by 



Google 



JUDEO-SPANISH POETS. 435 

the reunion in 1639, the representation of 
pieces of poetry, much in the same fashion 
as the ancient mystery plajrs of Spain in the 
Middle Ages. Such a piece of poetry, com- 
posed by the Judeo-Fortnguese, Rehuel Je- 
shurun (otherwise Paulo de Pina), was recited 
in 1624, in the synagogue of Beth Jahacob, 
by several of its most learned and distin- 
guished members. In this poetical dialogue 
the seven mountains of Sinai, Sion, Hor, 
Nebo, Gerizim, Carmel, and Senir (Sirion), 
mutually dispute the right of pre-eminence, 
which is decided at last by the King, Jeho- 
shaphat. Such entertainments, however, 
though not considered actually unlawful, 
were soon thought inconsistent with the holi- 
ness of a house of prayer. Besides the names 
of Peixoto, Beynoso, Antunes, Bueno, Uziel, 
Bosales, and Lobo, we find mentioned among 
the poetical geniuses at Amsterdam those of 
two distinguished women, Isabella Henriquez 
and Dona Isabella Correa, The latter was 
wife to the Lieutenant-Colonel Don Nicholas 
de Oliver y FuUana (in the synagogue, Daniel 
Juda), then in the Spanish service, and much 
esteemed as a cosmographer; he was a fellow- 
labourer with Blaeu, in the well-known Atlas 
of Spain and Portugal, which bears the name 
V 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



436 JUDEO-SFANISH POETS. 

of the latter. Another Spanish poet of Jewish 
race was Captain Don Miguel de Barrios, 
whose " Coro de las Musas," published before 
he made an open profession of Judaism at 
Amsterdam, is not wanting in poetical talent ; 
at all events, it is infinitely superior to anything 
he wrote afterwards, when a member of the 
synagogue, under the Jewish name of Daniel 
Levi de Barrio. His later compositions con- 
sist chiefly of sonnets in praise of some victims 
of the Inquisition; of epithalamiums and 
other fugitive pieces, the principal value of 
which consists in the light they throw on 
some of the distinguished persons and families 
belonging to the synagogue. 

The eighteenth century has witnessed an 
almost entire extinction of poetical genius 
among the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of 
Holland. Yet, from time to time, some few 
sparks of Hebrew poetry have appeared ; for 
example, a metrical Hebrew version of Ra- 
cine's " Athalia," by a member of the family 
of Franco Mendez, ever distinguished in the 
synagogue for cultivated talents, as well as 
high rank. At that time, there were some 
poets who attempted to write in Dutch, but 
their attempts never surpassed mediocrity, 
and partook of the frigid and constrained 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORTUGUESE JEWS, ETC. 437 

style which characterizes all Dutch poetry 
towards the close of the eighteenth century. 

In other branches of science and letters, 
the attainments of the Sephardim in Holland 
could never vie with those of their ancestors 
in the Spanish Peninsula ; perhaps the inter- 
mingling of prosperity and oppression had 
exercised a happier influence than the repose 
which they afterwards enjoyed without inter- 
ruption. In the United Provinces of the 
Netherlands the Spanish and Portuguese 
synagogue was peculiarly distinguished by 
the vast capital it had at command, and the 
extensive commercial relations in which its 
members were engaged with Spain, Portugal^ 
Italy, the Levant, Brazil, &c. ; by an unble- 
mished celebrity for probity and honour, ever 
accompanying the immense riches and splendid 
style of living of its members ; lastly, by the 
good and loyal services it had offered and 
rendered in more than one critical period to 
the country and the House of Orange. It is 
not, therefore, to be wondered at, that the 
Republic of the Netherlands should, at all 
times, appear as a zealous protectress of the 
rights of its Jewish subjects among foreign 
powers. 

It was equally natural that the great com* 



Digitized by 



Google 



438 PORTTTGUESE JEWS 

mercial city of Amsterdam should be fixed 
upon as a centre of resort by the Portuguese 
emigrants to that country. While the Israel- 
ites who have escaped from Poland and Ger- 
many are scattered more uniformly over the 
surface of the provinces, the Sephardim, with 
few exceptions, have hardly any synagogues 
without the bounds of Holland. In the pro- 
vince of Utrecht, in whose chief city, by 
virtue of its ancient laws, their residence is 
still forbidden, they have a numerous and 
powerful settlement at Maarsa, a village 
which, it is said, the Jews once thought of 
purchasing for themselves, to make it m en- 
tirely Jewish colony. In Middleburgh, the 
capital of Zealand, they also, for a time, pos- 
sessed a synagogue and burying-ground. 
There, among others, lived the Rabbi Jacob 
Juda Leon, whose dissertations on the struc- 
ture of Solomon's Temple in Hebrew and 
Spanish, has obtained repute among Chris- 
tians as well as Jews. At Nykerk, in Guel- 
derland, there remain to this day the ruins 
of an Italian Portuguese synagogue. In 
Holland a considerable synagogue of the 
Sephardim long flourished at Naarden, and 
another at Rotterdam, where among the dis- 
tinguished families we may mention that of 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE UNITED PROVINCES. 439 

De la Fenha ; a meinber of that family named 
Alexander was Consul for his Catholic Ma^ 
jesty in that city. His brother Joseph, in 
1697, received in feoff from King William 
the shores of Labrador, Coste Eeal, &c., in 
North America, which had been discovered 
by his vessels, and taken possession of in the 
name of the Prince of Orange. After Am* 
sterdam, the prosperity and esteem gained by 
the Portuguese Jews has nowhere been higher 
than at the Hague. In that city many of the 
finest houses were built by them, and long 
inhabited by their descendants* Their syna- 
gogue is situated in one of the finest quarters 
of the town. It was during the second half 
of the seventeenth century that they erected 
their house of prayer and purchased their 
burying*ground. One of the first Israelites, 
however, to whom letters of naturalization 
were first granted at the Hague in 1672, was 
of Polish origin ; his descendants, the Polak 
Daniels, are still living, and in high esteem in 
that city. 

. It was during this time, and the first twenty 
years of the eighteenth century, that the 
synagogue of the Sephardim at Amsterdam 
and the Hague reached its greatest splendour. 
Among the families distinguished either by 



Digitized by 



Google 



440 PORTUGUESE JEWS 

ancient historical reminiscences, by immense 
riches, or by great political talent, sometimes 
by all these together, we may add to those 
of whom we have already made mention, the 
names of Osorio, Levi Ximenes, Pereira, 
Salvador, Lopes de Liz, Machado, Capadose, 
De Souza, Bueno de Mesquita, De Azevedo, 
Abendana de Brito, Da Veiga, Navarro, De 
Almanza, and many others. 

More especial mention must be made of 
some individuals and families who have dis* 
tinguished themselves in Holland, as their 
ancestors had done in Portugal, by their public 
services and their talents in the diplomatic 
line. At Amsterdam, as at Hamburgh, the 
crowned heads of Sweden, Denmark, and 
Prussia, as well as the German states, em- 
ployed as their agents and residents distin- 
guished members of the Portuguese synagogue. 
Thus, Francisco Molo, who took up his abode 
at Amsterdam, from the year 1679, as resident 
for Poland, rendered eminent service in up- 
holding the cause of the European alliance 
against the ambitious designs of Louis XIV, 
— a service which the States of Holland 
thought fit to recompense, among other 
favours, by a remission of taxes, which was 
then seldom granted to any diplomatists not 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE KETHEBLANDS. 441 

resident at the Hague. Sir Williain Temple, 
who was at that time in Holland, mentions 
his surprise at two things which he observed: 
one was, that the Jews, in spite of the cruelties 
they had suffered in Spain and Portugal, 
ceased not to make use of both these languages 
in their families as a mother tongue; the 
other J that the Kings of Spain and Portugal on 
their side employed, as their emissaries and 
residents at Amsterdam, Jews, who came origi- 
nally from their own countries. For instance^ 
during more than a century and a half, the 
femily of Nunez da Costa (in the synagogue, 
Curiel) held the office of general agent to the 
Crown of Portugal, with the title of gentleman 
of the royal household. In the same manner, 
Don Manuel Baron de Belmonte was employed 
as the Spanish resident in Holland for forty 
years, from 1664 — 1704; his services were 
eminently successful in keeping up a good 
understanding and firm alliance between these 
two powers against the ambition of France. 
His nephew, the Baron de Ximenes Belmonte, 
succeeded him in the same office, which, how- 
ever, ceased to exist when the Bourbons were 
firmly established on the throne of Spain. 

History mentions another member of the 
family who, in the same period, 1678 — 1702, 
IJ 8 



Digitized by 



Google 



442 . POBTUOUE8E JBWS 

was employed as envoy by the Prince of 
Orange, then King of England, to the Couit 
of Spain, and also as plenipotentiary of the 
States-General at the same court and that of 
Portugal. Monsieur de Schoonenburg, an- 
other member of the Belmonte family, did not 
gain less distinction during his long career, by 
the penetration, fidelity, and zeal which he 
displayed, both for the interests of his own 
master and the house of Austria, which he 
served with all . the power and influence he 
possessed in Spain, during the debate attend- 
ing the succession of King Charles II. in that 
country.* The Austrian claimant, afterwards 
Emperor of Germany by the name of 
Charles VI., acknowledged his services by 
presenting him with a marquisate in the 
German Netherlands. 

Among all the sovereigns of Europe and 
princes of Orange, it was especially during the 
lifetime of William III., the Stadtholder and 
King of Great Britain, and by his influence, 
that Israelites by religion as well as birth 
were employed and even preferred to fill con- 

• See the Memoirs of Lamberti, " Spain under Charles 
the Second ; or, Extracts from the Correspondence of the 
Hon. Alexander Stanhope, 1690—1699." (London, 1840), 
pp. 32—112, 154. 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE NETHERLANDS. 443 

fidential posts in matters of difdomacy. Nor 
was it to this prince alone, among those of the 
house of Nassau, that the Jews of Spain and 
Portugal testified their unalterable attachment. 
Both the German and Portuguese synagogues 
at all times shared the same feelings of un- 
shaken fidelity to the members of that illus- 
. trious dynasty. The noble families especially, 
both at Amsterdam and the Hague, haye 
given proof of their devotedness in time of 
adversity as well as prosperity. On their side, 
the stadtholders of the house of Nassau, from 
Frederic Henry downwards, have continued to 
give marks of their esteem for and interest in 
these families, both in public and in private. 
Till the reign of William V. inclusive, no 
stadtholder of Holland had ever failed to pay 
at least one visit of ceremony to each of the 
great synagogues of Amsterdam. The stadt* 
holder Frederic Henry came, accompanied by 
his son, William II., the Queen of England, 
and the princess, her daughter, betrothed to 
the young prince. On this occasion, the col- 
lege of Parnassim offered to the stadtholder a 
present of wrought silver, of the value of two 
thousand florins, which was graciously ac- 
cepted. The Kabbi Menasseh Ben Israel 
complimented the illustrious visitors in an 



Digitized by 



Google 



444 P0RTUG0E8S JEWS 

elegant Spanish oration, in which he compared 
the house of Nassau to the ancient Maccabees 
of Israel. 

The eighteenth century was for Europe in 
general, as it was for the Sephaidim in par- 
ticular, a period of degeneracy in many 
respects. The zeal and actiyity which the 
Portuguese Jews had formerly evinced, in so 
many various departments, was superseded in 
many by the indolence which accompanies an 
excess of luxury, the produce in part of their 
great prosperity and complete security. Gam* 
ing usurped for a time the place of that com-* 
merce with the East, South, and West, which 
their fathers had carried on so successfully, 
both for their own benefit and that of the 
country in which they lived. Their manners 
were changed, and became more corrupt. 
Religion, though its outward ceremonies were 
rigidly practised, no longer possessed that in-* 
ward hold which had often led men to brave 
the flames of the Inquisition, and to abandon 
rank, possessions, and country, to serve (accord- 
ing to their conscience, though in error) the 
God of Israel, and avoid bowing down before 
an image. Even the glory of their ancient 
reminiscences degenerated into an object of 
vanity and party spirit, in which the origin 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE NETHERLANDS. 443 

itself of these boasted distinctions was forgot- 
ten, while the aristocracy of money exercised 
the greatest influence. On the other hand, a 
frequent and increasing intimacy with the 
language, literature, and philosophy, as well 
as with French vanity and manners, exercised 
a most pernicious influence over that portion 
of the Jews in Holland, who at that time were 
naturally more exposed than their brethren of 
the German synagogue to the seductions and 
the danger of an entirely worldly civilization. 
The few literary works which the Sephardim 
in the Low Countries produced during that 
time of decay, were almost exclusively written 
in the French spirit and style, as well as in 
the language, then becoming more and more 
general, of the same seductive nation. 

A well-known member of the Portuguese 
synagogue at Amsterdam in particular, had 
made successful use of this language in the 
latter part of the preceding century. Isaac de 
Pinto was author of the "Remarques Critiques," 
upon an article concerning the Jews, in Vol- 
taire's famous " Philosophical Dictionary." In 
these remarks, though they are well written and 
not wanting in spirit, the author seems to have 
allowed prudence to get the better, when 
treating the enemies of Christianity and of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



446 PORTUGUESE JEWS 

Jewish nation with such excessive politeness 
that the point of his arguments is completely 
hlunted. The Materialists also found in De 
Pinto a skilful adversary; though, in defending 
the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, he 
assumed too much the position of a Deist. He 
has written, besides, some treatises on political 
economy, which are well thought of, especially 
one upon luxury. On the whole, this Israelite, 
distinguished both by his talents and position 
in society, has rendered eminent service to his 
nation, both in Holland and in France. He 
also served the country in which he lived in 
time of need. For instance, during the siege 
of 6ergen-op-Zoom, he, with some others, came 
to the relief of the exhausted treasury, and 
furnished capital at very low interest from his 
own funds, and those of his rich coreligionists. 
This generosity obtained for him a letter from 
Van Hogendorp, the Receiver-General, in 
which he is congratulated on having saved the 
State. 

Very different were the services rendered 
by the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in the 
colonies, and especially the West Indies. In 
the East Indies they were never numerous, at 
least in the Dutch possessions. We only find 
the fact noticed, that, in 1686, some Portuguese 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE COLONIES. 447 

Jews from Amsterdam visited their Israelitish 
brethren at Cochin, where, since the establish- 
ment of the Dutch, their position had been 
much ameliorated. Moses Pereira de Paiva, a 
famous traveller, published some details con- 
cerning these Eastern Jews in 1687. 

The Jews from the Peninsula, established 
themselves in America, almost immediately 
after the discovery of the New World. We 
find them directly after the exile of 1497, 
bearing in Brazil the name of New Christians, 
without being pursued by the Inquisition^ but 
sent there by the Government as a kind of 
banishment The number of Jews in that 
country was soon considerably increased by 
arrivals of their brethren from France; and 
they began to acquire a greater degree of influ- 
ence than the Catholic Government of Portugal 
could tolerate, when the conquest of the coun- 
try by the arms of Holland brought about a 
complete change of position, entirely in favour 
of the Jewish population. From that moment, 
considerable bodies of Jews sailed for Brazil 
from the ports of Holland, accompanied by two 
Rabbins, Aboab and De Aquiiar, to found a 
Jewish colony. They soon attained consider- 
able prosperity and influence by the cultivation 
of land, manufactures, and an active trade 



Digitized by 



Google 



448 PORTUQUESB JEWS 

carried on with their brethren in Holland. 
The Dntch Government, and especially the 
Governor, Count John Maurice de Nassau, 
was not backward in appreciating the services 
of the Jews, and encouraging them by the 
entire toleration of their religion, and by every 
mark of distinction and courtesy. In what 
their services consisted, is plainly told in ad 
ordinance from the States-General, dated in 
the year 1645, in which *^ the persons, goods, 
and rights of the Jews in Brazil were taken 
under the special protection of the Govern* 
ment, because of the fidelity and courage which 
that nation had on every occasion displayed 
towards the said Government." In truth, 
history bears witness how much the Jews dis- 
tinguished themselves by their valour, both at 
the time of the conquest, and in the defence of 
Brazil by the Dutch against the Spaniards 
and Portuguese. One of the Fintos was killed 
at his post while bravely defending one of the 
fortresses. In the perilous times of 1645 and 
1654, great services were also rendered by the 
Portuguese family of Cohen, who furnished 
the Dutch, as well as the Jews, with ammuni- 
tion and provisions. In 1654, the possession 
of Brazil was lost for ever to the Dutch, and 
in consequence to the Jews also, as a residence, 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE COLONIES. 449 

with free exercise of their religion, when that 
country became again a colony of Portugal. 
The Portuguese Viceroy granted to the numer- 
ous Jewish population some further time to 
arrange their a'ffairs, and thirty vessels, with a 
safe-conduct, to convey them to Holland. 

A considerable portion of these Brazilian 
Jews established themselves in another part of 
the New World. The Dutch West India 
Company, by an Act, dated September 12, 
1659, granted to David (Cohen) Nasi, exten- 
sive rights and liberties at Cayenne, for himself 
and his companions. Their number and re-' 
sources were soon increased by the arrival of 
several Portuguese families from Leghorn. 
The progress of the colony was, however, hin- 
dered by war ; first, with Portugal, and then 
with France, which, in 1664, took the country 
from the Dutch and the Jews. 

More lasting, and, therefore, more worthy of 
interest, was the settlement made at Surinam, 
by the Portuguese Jews from different coun- 
tries, but especially from Holland. Lord 
Willoughby, who obtained from Charles II., 
in 1662, a charter for the colonization of that 
country, endeavoured by favours and consider- 
able privileges to attract thither the Israelites 
and their commerce. Many industrious and 



Digitized by 



Google 



450 PORTUGUESE JEWS 

even distinguished Portuguese Jews, who had 
retired from Cayenne, came to Surinam, where, 
in three years' time, the banks of the riveir 
were adorned with forty or fifty plantations, 
and a population of about four thousand. 

The privileges granted by the first English 
possessors placed the Hebrew nation (as they 
are designated in the general privilege, signed 
by the Secretary, Parry, in 1665) on a footing 
of entire equality with the English ; while, at 
the same time, the most ample liberty was 
secured to them in matters of religion,* Sab- 
baths, feast4lays, marriages, and wills. 

The privileges secured to the Jews by the 
Dutch West India Company, and especially 
by Lord Willoughby, formed the basis of that 
social position and prosperity which they have 
at all times enjoyed in the colony of Surinam. 

During the war with England (1665-67). 
the Dutch made themselves masters of this 
colony, which at the peace of Breda was 
secured to that Republic, to the great dissatis- 
&ction of Willoughby, who immediately 
ordered all English subjects to leave the 
country. A considerable number of Portu- 

• See " Historical Essay on the Colony of Surinam,'* 
1788. By Lindo. Second Part. Pp. 123—125, 381 
—383. 



Digitized by 



Google 



IN THE COLONIES. 451 

guese families left at the same time, and went 
with the English to form a colony at Jamaica, 
where (as well as in the French colony of the 
Martinico) the cultivation of the sugar-cane 
was very greatly improved, owing to the settle* 
ment of these Jews, 

Meanwhile, the Dutch Government still 
found iaithful and industrious subjects among 
the Jews of the Savanna, in Surinam. Great 
service was rendered by various members of the 
families of Pinto da Fonseca, Arias, Naar, De 
Brito, D'Avilar, both in the vigorous defence of 
the colony in 1689, against the French squadron, 
under Admiral Cassard, and in the wars 
which were carried on both in that century 
and the succeeding one against the Indians 
and Negroes ; another, David Nasi, met with 
death in his thirty-first campaign against the 
latter, in the year 1743, at the age of seventy. 
Another member of the same family had much 
distinguished himself in the war with France, 
and by this means so much excited the jealousy 
of the Governor, that, for the sake of his 
brethren, he thought it best to leave the 
colony, and retire to Amsterdam, where, 
together wijh the Baron de Belmonte, he 
ceased not to take the part of the Jews at 
Surinam in their disputes with the Govern- 



Digitized by 



Google 



462 PORTUGUESE JEWS IN THE COLONIES. 

ment of that colony. These disputes, a natural 
consequence of the close contact in which the 
Jews lived with the Christian colonists, in no 
way lessened the acknowledged and unshaken 
fidelity of the Jews to the Government of the 
mother country, and to the House of Orange. 
They, however, tended to diminish the pros- 
perity of the synagogue at Surinam, especially 
when internal dissensions arose among the 
Jewish people themselves. In our days the 
very failing condition of the colony in general 
has certainly not had a more favourable effect 
upon the prosperity of the Jews. Some time after 
the establishment of the Portuguese synagogue 
at Surinam, the German Jews also settled 
there, and, before long, especially since the 
close of the eighteenth century, they have 
risen to be on a par with their brethren in 
civilization and esteem. 

At Curafoa, originally a Spanish colony, 
but, after many vicissitudes, possessed by the 
Dutch, the Portuguese Jews were early 
esfeblished. They had not, however, built a 
synagogue before the eighteenth century, and 
then one was speedily followed by a second. 
Now, the Portuguese Jewish, population, 
formerly flourishing and numerous, is reduced 
to less than a thousand souls. 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORTUGUESE JEWS IN ENGLAND. 453 

At New York a Portuguese synagogue still 
exists, apparently built at the time when that 
city was still within the Dutch territories. At 
Philadelphia, and some other towns of the 
United States, Portuguese synagogues have 
continued to exist to the present time. 

When Oliver Cromwell governed Great 
Britain, three centuries and a-half had elapsed 
since the time when the Jews were banished 
from England by Edward I. The period 
seemed then arrived for the country to open its 
ports to a nation which had already been 
received on the Continent, both by Roman 
Catholic and Protestant powers. 

Cromwell, who on religious motives was 
well inclined to re-admit the Jews, also well 
knew and understood as a statesman the 
advantages that might be gained in a political 
point of view from the extensive connexions of 
the Spanish Jews. The time was, therefore, as 
happily chosen as the man, when, as we have 
already told, the Jews sent Menasseh Ben 
Israel to England, to request permission for 
the Israelitish nation to reside and enjoy the 
free exercise of their religion in England, 
Scotland, and Ireland. The request was made 
in two remarkable addresses to the Lord Pro- 
tector and to the Republic, in which, among 



Digitized by 



Google 



454 PORTUGUESE JEWS IN ENGLAND; 

other subjects, the writer expresses his fiill 
expectation of a speedy return of the Jewish 
people to the land of their fathers. The Pro- 
tector called together an assembly of clei^y, 
lawyers, and merchants at Whitehall, to ask 
their opinion upon the matter. He declared 
himself in this assembly openly and warmly 
in favour of the re-admission of the Jews, 
because of the great promises in Holy Scrip- 
ture attached to their conversion, and the 
honour and interest it would bring to the 
Christian Church. An eye-witness of the 
meeting declares that he never heard any one 
so eloquent as the Protector when pleading 
the cause of the Jews. Yet it was entirely in 
vain; the majority, especially of the clergy 
and merchants, declared themselves opposed to 
the re-admission of the Jews. Thus the question 
was deferred, and the Jews meanwhile to- 
lerated by a kind of connivance, in virtue of a 
special permission from the Protector, but not 
as English subjects, or as forming an Israelitish 
synagogue. It appears, however, that nearly 
at the same period a piece of land was granted 
to them as a burial-ground, on a nominal lease 
of nine hundred and ninety-nine years. Leave 
to build a synagogue in London, and, conse- 
quently, free permission to reside and prac* 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORTCOUESE JEWS IN ENGLAND. 455 

tise their religion, was at last granted to them 
in the reign of Charles II., 1666. Perhaps 
there may be some connecting-link between 
this event and the remarkable circumstance 
that the negotiations for the King's marriage 
to the Infanta, Catherine of Portugal, were 
carried on by General Monk through the in- 
tervention of a Portuguese Jew. 

It is an ascertained fact, that the Infanta 
was accompanied to England by two Portu- 
guese brothers, one of whom, Dr. Antonio 
Mendez, had been Professor of Medicine at 
Coimbra, and at the request of the Infanta 
established himself in London, where, from 
that time, both his brother and himself openly 
professed the religion of Moses. Their de- 
scendants have since borne the name of 
Mendez da Costa.* Since that time the Por« 
tuguese synagogue in London has been 
greatly increased by the number of dis- 
tinguished fiunilies who have migrated thither 
even from Spain and Portugal, but especially 
from the Netherlands. These families have 
lived and prospered in London, particularly 
since the reign of King William, on the same 
footing as those at Amsterdam and the Hague, 

• Lindo's ^^Histoiy of the Jews in Spain and Por- 
tugal,'' p. S50. 



Digitized by 



Google 



456 POBTUOUESE JEWS IN ENGIAND. 

with whom they were often connected by 
relationship. 

Here, as in Holland, they have also given 
proof of their faithful attachment to the Gro- 
vemment and the Crown, which they have 
been ever ready to aid with their persons 
or their fortunes. The principal families 
belonging to this synagogue are those of 
Ximenes, Cardoso, Lopez, Bemal, Gomez 
Sera, De Chaves, Fernandes Nunes, De 
Almeida, and Bravo. The well-known Member 
of Parliament and political economist, David 
Ricardo, belonged by birth to the Portuguese 
synagogue; his father, who was the younger 
son of a Spanish family at Amsterdam, having 
formerly settled in England. 

Among the learned men and authors re- 
corded in the annals of the English Sephardim 
we may mention Rabbi Abendana, translator 
of the " Khusari of Hallevi ; " as well as Babbi 
David Nieto, bom at Venice, and made Chief 
Rabbi in London in the year 1701. He wrote 
several works on theology in Portuguese, and 
in Italian a ^^ Pascologia,'* in which he en- 
deavours to reconcile the differences between 
the Jewish calendar and that of the Greek and 
Latin Church regarding the feast of Easter. 
He wrote, besides, some rather severe strictures 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORTUGUESE JEWS IN ENGLANp. 457 

upon the proceedings of the Inquisitioii as late 
as the time of John IV. of Portugal. To the 
English synagogue also belonged Rabbi Jacob 
(Henriques) de Castro Sarmiento, bom at 
Braganza, in 1691, who established himself in 
London in 1721, where his great acquirements 
in natural science caused him to be chosen a 
member of the Royal Society, and presented 
with the degree of Doctor by the University of 
Aberdeen. An interesting specimen of Jewish 
literature in England appears in a poetical 
version of the Psalms, made in 1720, by 
Daniel Israel Lyra Laguna, with the title of 
" A feithfal Mirror of Life/' This work is 
also worthy of notice on account of the differ- 
ent specimens of Spanish, Latin, and even 
English poetry in praise of its author, with 
which his friends accompanied the publication. 
After 1713, Great Britain had Spanish- 
Jewish subjects on a soil which had originally 
been Spanish. By the treaty of Utrecht, 
Gibraltar remained annexed to the Crown of 
Great Britain, by whom, conjointly with the 
Dutch, this celebrated fortress had been over- 
come. The Crown of England had, however, 
made an agreement with his Catholic Majesty, 
that neither Jew nor Moor should be tolerated 
in the city. Before long, the English Govern- 



Digitized by 



Google 



458 PORTUGUESE JEWS IN ENGLAKD. 

ment obtained from the Spanish monarck per- 
mission to admit ^Mporish ships into the port, 
and in time Jewish settlors were also allowed. 
They soon established themselves, and multi- 
plied to such a degree, that at the present time 
there exists a Jewish population of about 1,600 
souls, with four synagogues. The connexion 
which subsists between the acknowledged and 
the concealed Israelites who are to be met with 
to this day in Spain, is a secret to no one. 
Among others, the former well^-known Spanish 
minister, Mendizabel, was the son of a Jewish 
resident at Gibraltar. 

With regard to Spain itself at the present 
time, though Jews may travel, and even 
remain in the country without danger, yet 
there exists no law to secure to them their 
religious liberty in the ancient abode of their 
fathers. In Portugal, on the contrary, since 
1820, they have possessed a public synagogue 
in the capital, an example which has also 
been followed by thp Government of Brazil, 
while in the emancipated states of America, 
which were originally Spanish, the Jews in 
pur time no longer encounter persecution. 

We have given in this book, as in a sepa- 
rate picture, a review of the history of the 
Sephardim, as distinct from the rest of their 



Digitized by 



Google 



PORTUGUEQE JEWB IN ENGLANQ. 459 

brethren in the midst of that universal dis- 
persion of the Jewish people which followed 
the destruction of Jerusalem* The condnding 
portion of our sketch will refer exclusively to 
the other division of the dispersed nation, or 
will view both taken together as a whole. 
What is chiedy to be observed in the present 
day with respect to the Jewish nation is, the 
decline of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, 
and the remarkable social development of 
another diffisrent portion of the same extraor- 
dinary nation. It is as if the two had divided 
between them the past and the present If 
the past presents to the former more glorious 
reminiscences, the present appears to belong 
more especially to the latter. But of what im- 
portance is iti The future acknowledges no 
such distinction ! The future, acpording to the 
promise of God in Christ Jesus their Saviour 
and their King, belongs equally to both : it is 
given to the ^'nation of the twelve tribes" 
undivided. 



X 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



BOOK IV. 

THE JEWS AND THE REFORMATION. 

Having now brought to a close a review of 
the history of the Sephardim, we must, for a 
short time, retrace our steps. From the period 
of the Reformation, in the sixteenth century, 
we will resume that thread of events which 
we have lately followed through a less thorny 
path, amid the sad wilderness of Israel's his- 
tory since the rejection of his Messiah, and the 
fall of his temple and city. What we propose 
to ourselves in this last portion of our work is, 
to exhibit the principal features of the destiny, 
and the most striking situations in which the 
exiled nation have been placed, from the time 
of the Reformation until the commencement 
of the revolutionary period at the close of the 
eighteenth century; and again from that 
epoch to the middle of the present century. 
We will then conclude the past and present 
history of Israel, with casting a glance upon 
their future prospects, especially considered, 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS AND THE BEFORMATION. 461 

as heretofore, in its connexion with, and rela^ 
tion to» the Gentiles. 

From the very beginning of their history — 
from the very rise of that nation sprang from ' 
the seed of Abraham and Jacob, this people 
have ever had quite a peculiar share in all the 
great events which have from time to time 
changed the face of the world. In these 
events they have had their influence, their co- 
operation, and, as regards their temporal 
existence at least, they have ever been more 
or less directly interested in the movements 
which have agitated the nations. In more 
than one respect was the reciprocal influence 
of- the dispersed yet ever-preserved people of 
Israel intimately felt in connexion with the 
reformation of part of the Christian Church, 
just when the period of the Middle Ages was 
superseded by a new order of things in the 
destinies of Europe and of the world. 

The dawning of the Reformation, in the 
sixteenth century, was brought about under 
God's guiding providence over the Church, 
the world, and mankind, by an increase and 
shedding abroad of light in every branch of 
knowledge and human science, more especially 
in literature and languages; above all, the 
two idioms, in one of which all the writings 



Digitized by 



Google 



4fi[2f' THE JEWS AND 

of thcf Nefw T^cfstament, uni iri the other, those 
of the Old, had been committed to the Church 
of all ages- The rchdval of the stady of 
Hebrew led, as a natural consequence, to the 
renewed study of Moses and the prophets in 
the original, and which, during the last thou- 
sand years, had become almost unknown to 
the Christian Church, haying been preserved 
exclusively in the schools and writings of the 
Jews. In the Roman Catholic world Latin 
had become, ^^par excellence^' or, sather, ex- 
clusively the holy tongue, the Vulgate having 
superseded and cast into oblivion the original 
Hebrew and Greek. The time had long since 
passed by when a Jefoine received instruction 
from an Israelite in learning the language of 
Canaan, that he might make translations for 
the benefit of the Church, But the ten cen- 
turies of the Middle Ages had not yet quite 
elapsed before the knowledge of the Hebrew 
language began to reappear in the labours of 
Nicholas de Lyra, in the fourteenth century, 
jn-eparing, as it wercf, a way for the Reformers. 
In Spain, where, during the same period, 
the Jews alone had spread the light of their 
Hebrew and rabbinical learning, we have seen 
Paul of Burgos completing and purifying the 
Fostills of De Lyra. In that country, also, a 



Digitized by 



Google 



THB E£POBMATIOK. 463 

short time before the appearance of Luther, 
the celebrated Cardinal Xinienes conimitted 
the Hebrew text of his Polyglot Bible to the 
dharge of three learned men of Jewish descent. 
Soon after, — thanks to the good services of the 
Jewish press, their whole stores of grammar 
and rabbinical exegesis were at the disposition 
of the theologians of the Christian Church, to 
extract and gather thence all that might be 
made of service for the literal interpretation of 
Holy Scripture* Even before the trumpet 
sounded firom Wittenberg over the world, in 
Grermany as well as in Italy the Talmudic 
and Cabbalistic writings of the Jews were 
already known. The celebrated Prince John 
Pico di Mirandola, towards the close of the 
fifteenth century, was so deeply devoted tOj 
and SO much prepossessed in farour of, the 
latter works, that he looked upon them as the 
source of all kinds of vnsdom, and laboured to 
prove by their means the truths of the Gospel. 
A similar prepossession had spread even in 
Italy, where, during all' the former half of the 
sixteenth century, many converted Jews had 
contributed to make known the writings of 
their former coreligionists by reftiting them. 
The same quarter of a century in which 
Luther's testimony held the most conspicuous 



Digitized by 



Google 



464 THE JEWS AND . 

place, beheld a dispute kindled in the midst of 
the Popedom concerning the utility or the 
danger of tolerating and propagating, by 
means of the press, rabbinical works, espe- 
cially the Talmud. A violent discussion on 
this question, which was carried on for years, 
had been first started by John Pfefferkom, a 
converted Jew of Cologne. All the efforts of 
this man, who, with many faults, was certainly 
not wanting in merit, were early directed to 
the conversion of his brethren according to the 
flesh. The means he first made use of were 
highly laudable ; for he treated them with 
gentleness^ and even defended his former co- 
religionists against the calumny of their 
enemies. 

His zeal afterwards was less well advised, 
when he began to forbid and condemn the 
reading of any Hebrew book except the Old 
Testament. With the aid of the Dominican 
monks, he prevailed on the Emperor Maximi- 
lian to adopt his views, and in 1509 an edict 
was published, which enjoined that all writings 
emanating from the Jews against the Christian 
religion should be suppressed and condemned to 
the flames ; this edict was soon succeeded by 
another, in 1510, enjoining the destruction of 
every Hebrew book, vnth the sole exception of 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE REFOBMAXiOX. 465 

the Old Testament The execution of this 
edict was, however, suspended until the opinion 
of the Electoral Archbishop of Mayence had 
been obtained. By favour of this delay, Pro- 
fessor Reuchiin (Capnio) was enabled to pub- 
lish a voluminous treatise^ in which he divided 
the Jewish works into seven different classes, 
and afterwards proved which of these classes 
might be considered dangerous or injurious to 
the Christian religion. Among the books 
which he thinks in part harmless, and in part 
useful, and even valuable to theology, and 
which he would in consequence preserve, were 
not only the commentators, but the Talmud 
and the Zohar. The contest soon grew warm 
between the adversaries of the books and their 
defenders ; the former consisting of the Domi- 
nicans and their partisans, the latter of all 
moderate and enlightened theologians. Under 
the Pontificate of Leo X., the well-known 
friend and protector of science and literature, 
a book of Reuchlin's, which had been con- 
demned to the flames by the adverse party at 
Cologne, in 1614, was shortly absolved from 
all imputation of heresy. Soon, however, (by 
fevour, apparently, of the movement which had 
taken place in the Church since 1517,) an end 
was put to the whole dispute, when the famous 
X 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



466 THE JEW^ At^i 

knight, Franfc voh Sickingen, had declared 
himself on this question also, thfe decided anta- 
gonist of the Inquisitorial party. 

Thus, in the very bosom of the Romish 
Church, the cause of those who defended the 
Talmud for learning's sake had triumphed; 
while, iti the Protestant Churches, the study 
of Hebrew progressed from the beginning, by 
the help of Jewish teachers and writing:s. The 
two Buxtorfs, father and son, are at the head 
of a long series of learned men of evangelical 
sentiments and of the reformed religion, who 
derived their knowledge of oriental languages, 
and of the original text of the Old Testament, 
not from printed books or rabbinical manu- 
scripts only, but from the oral teaching of 
Jewish masters. Even in our day, after the 
important discoveries which have been made, 
and the new directibh which the study of 
Hebrew has taken during the last century, 
learned men recognise the services which the 
rabbinical and l*almudic writings not only 
have rendered, but may stiU render to science. 
A remarkable memorial of the intimate access 
thus obtained to the fountain-head (no longer 
through the intervention of the Popedom and 
it» Vulgate, but by means of the ancient syna- 
gogue^) hats remained to us in the decisive te^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE BEFORMATION. 467 

jection of the Apocryphal Books from that canon 
of Scripture which is received by the Reformed 
Church as of Divine Inspiration. The influ«- 
ence of the rabbinical writings was not of 
sufficient weight to connterbalance the ancient, 
and so-called, spiritual interpretation of the 
Jewish prophecies, which had been received 
from time immemorial by the Church of Rome 
and the great majority of the fathers. It was 
not till long after that a time came for believers 
among the nations to acknowledge, that an 
interpretation which admits of a real and 
litersd accomplishment of all foretold judg- 
ments and miseries upon Israel, and bestows 
every promise of blessing, by means of an exe* 
getico-allegorical operation, exclusively upon 
Gentile Christians, cannot escape at least the 
reproach of partiality; while it is in direct 
opposition to the principle on which our Lord 
himself and his apostles have applied or ex* 
plained the ancient prophecies of Israel. 

On the whole, indeed, the Reformation, 
whether in its early days or in later times, 
with all its great teachers and numerous 
adherents, effected little ot no change in the 
disposition of Christians towards the once 
chosen people, now so sadly decayed and 
scattered over the earth, because of their 



Digitized by 



Google 



468 THE JEWS AND 

heinous sin. Luther appeared well disposed 
towards them in the beginning of his career as 
a reformer. In a treatise especially, which he 
wrote in consequence of some accusations of 
heresy concerning the virginity of Mary, " to 
prove that Jesus Christ was of Israelitish birth" 
— he spoke of the Jews in a manner which 
seemed likely to overthrow popular prejudices 
against the nation itself, and cause men to set 
some value on the imperishable privileges of 
their descent. Afterwards he spoke very 
differently of the Jews, either from indignation 
at some theologians of Wittenberg, whom he 
looked upon as infected with the leaven of 
rabbinism, or from disappointment because 
the Beformation, by which he had promised 
himself a favourable influence over the minds 
of the Jews and their conversion to the Gos- 
pel, found no more favour or acceptance than 
Komanism with this entirely singular nation. 
At least, his tract, published in 1543, on " The 
Jews and their Lies,'' shows no moderate 
degree of bitterness, and his manner of dealing 
with them was quite in accordance with the 
tone of that book. We may say, on this point, 
that the Christian in Luther is lost sight of in 
the German, always the adversary of the Jew. 
The feelings of Calvin were, perhaps, less 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE BEFORMATION. 469 

vehement, but still far from friendly or con- 
siderate towards the Jews, with whom, how- 
ever, he came little in contact at Geneva. 
With more of the Roman and the philosopher 
than of the orientalist or the poet in his com- 
position, this great French Reformer failed in 
taking so complete a view of prophecy, as to 
derive from it a knowledge of Israel's future 
position. Neither their future prospects, nor 
the descent of the Saviour from the midst of 
this singular people, ever induced him to for- 
get for a moment their protracted hardness of 
heart, in spite of the clear, and often-repeated 
declarations of Scripture, certifying their con- 
version and national restoration. On the other 
hand, we cannot deny that the light of the 
Gospel, which the Reformation had again set 
on the candlestick, had no more influence over 
the body of the Jews, than when it was in 
great part hid under the bushel of Popery, — 
at all times some few individuals have embraced 
it " according to the election of grace." 

Among those men who laboured with zeal 
and fidelity in the cause of the Reformation 
during the sixteenth century, we may men- 
tion, as a rare exception, however, a Jew of 
Ferrara, named Emanuel Tremellius. Having 
come into Germany from Italy in company 



Digitized by 



Google 



4^0 THE JE>f 8 AND 

with Peter Mtotyr, by whom he had been 
brought to the knowledge of the Gospel, he 
there became a zealous laboilrer in the vine- 
yard of the Reformation, and, together with 
Franciscus Junius, theJ celebrated Dutch Re- 
former, afterwards Professor of Theology at 
Leyden, made a 'Latin version of the Old 
Testament from the original Hebrew- Fran- 
ciscus Junius (du Jon) himself at all times 
came forward as the warm friend of the people 
of Israel, and proved himself to be so most 
effectually by the wise and affectionate manner 
in which he set forth the duty owing by 
Christians to this nation in their present state 
of decay. In the family of Junius, as well as 
that of Vossius, with which it was connected, 
benevolent feelings towards the Jews, and a 
warm interest in their welfare, seem to have 
been hereditary. Isaac Vossius, for example, 
the Professor at Amsterdam^ who afterwards 
settled in England, and died there at a great 
age, wrote a striking " Address to the Jews " 
in this spirit. 

Generally speaking, the Arminians of Hol- 
land and their allies showed most favour to 
the Jewish refugees in that country and their 
learned men. We have already spoken of 
Hugo Grotius, whose esteem for the Rabbins 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE REFORMATION. 471 

and their interpretations was certainly carried 
too far. Rather later, in the course of the 
seventeenth century, Calvinistic clergy and 
teachers were not wanting in Hblland, who, 
by their writings and their efforts for the 
spread of the Gospel among the Jews, showed 
a far more friendly spirit towards that nation 
than their predecessors had done. Among 
these, Hendrik Groenwegen atid the Pro- 
fessors Witsius and Hombeck were distin- 
guished ; the former of these was well known 
in England, both personally and by his writ- 
ings; the latter was the author of an ample 
work on the conversion of the Jews. About 
the same period, in the Netherlands, an ex*- 
pectation began to arise of the future national 
conversion of Israel, in connexion with a mil- 
lennium of glory for the Church of Christ 
upon earth. Among the defenders of this 
doctrine, we find the celebrated theologian, 
Willem ton Brakel, whose works, containing 
an ample summary of dogmatic and practical 
theology, were known throughout Holland, and 
brought into fevour with a great number of 
the most pious and orthodox members of the 
Church a mode of interpreting prophecy, 
which the members of the Synod of Dordrecht 
had before disowned. Before the close of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



472 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

seventeenth century, however, many men whose 
names are well known in Great Britain espe- 
cially, had arrived at conclusions almost iden- 
tical with those which have heen brought for- 
ward during the last thirty or forty years, 
concerning the future prosperity of Israel, and 
the universal reign of Jesus Christ their King. 
Among these, it may suffice to mention Jurieu, 
the celebrated opponent of Bayle, who had 
sought refuge in Holland subsequently to the 
revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and especi- 
ally John de Labadie, whose book entitled, 
the " Herald of the King Jesus," together with 
his secession from the national Church, brought 
upon him great enmity from those ministers 
and professors who were considered orthodox. 
Thus, the Reformation, by the guidance of the 
Lord of the Church, had beheld fresh light 
thrown on the Old Testament^ and the word 
of prophecy in particular, not shining at once 
fully, but rising gradually and increasing by 
degrees. In the position of the Jews them- 
selves, a remarkable change was at the same 
time in progress. Not that the hatred and 
prejudices of Christian people, or rather of the 
world in general, had given place to more 
benevolent and generous sentiments, or that 
any mutual drawing together had taken place 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1617 TO 1689. 473 

between Jew and Christian. Only the ftiry 
of persecution had slackened and gradually 
disappeared, together with that ferocity which 
peculiarly characterized the Middle Ages. The 
Jews were no longer massacred, tortured, 
pillaged, or arbitrarily expelled, as in the time 
of the Crusades, at least such events were of 
very rare occurrence. In Spain, it is true, and 
in her colonies, the sword of Damocles was 
suspended over the head of the hidden ad* 
herents of the synagogue and their descendants, 
— but we have already noticed that the zeal, 
or, at least, the power of the Inquisition, had 
by degrees slackened. In other parts of 
Europe, after the great separation effected by 
the Beformation, the fury of persecution 
directed against heretics in the bosom of 
Christianity itself, was by this means turned 
aside from the unbelieving Israelite. Itet^ the 
anathema of public contempt, humiliation, and 
exclusion from every public or private con- 
nexion, still lay heavily upon them. Thus, the 
period of 270 years, which intervened between 
the Reformation and the Revolution, brought 
no amelioration in the civil and political rights 
of the Jews, The history of the people of 
Israel in the world continued during the whole 
of that period to exhibit the same monotonous 



Digitized by 



Google 



474 POSITION O^ THE JEWS, ETC. 

character of naiserjr, wliidi, with the exception 
of some few years, or a few fatoured spots, Had 
marked their fate for ntiany Centuries. This 
periodj which we will now survey rapidly, 
offers few peculiarities suficientiy striking to 
require a place in this sketch. Many of them 
have been detailed in the two preceding books, 
by a kind of anticipation which the connexion 
of the subjects and facts we have had to relate 
riendered necessary. There are but a few of the 
more prominent details, relating either to the 
sufferings of the exiled people in their social 
position, or their labours in the field of litenu 
ture or science, left to us. For, with the 
commencement of the revolutionary period in 
1789, a fresh horizon is discovered, as much 
for the whole known and civilized world in 
general, as for the scattered remnant of Israel 
and Judah. 

The position of the Jews in the East under 
the Turkish Empire, as we have already re- 
marked, was generally favourable, and at 
times prosperous, especially that of the Spanish 
Jews. After what we have already told con- 
cerning that part of the Jewish history, there 
remains but little to relate. One man alone 
arose amid the Jewish population in the East, 
whose name has acquired a pamM celebrity 



Digitized by 



Google 



SABBATHAI SEYl, ETC. 4^5 

in consequence of the angular feet that his 
teaching and the sect he founded long con- 
tinued to exist ailet the loss of his life and 
reputation. Though unmasked as a false 
Messiah, he long possessed great influence 
ove^ posterity as the most remarkable man of 
his age. The number of impostors who harlB 
arisen during the nineteen centuries of Israel's 
dispersion are reckoned at sixty-four. Among 
them, perhaps no one was more deserving of 
contempt than Sabbathai Sevi, df Smyrna, yet 
none excited more remark by the great sensa- 
tion which his appearance continued for some 
years to create, by the surprising effects of this 
illusion during his lifetime, and eren after his 
death; by the ideas especially, long entirely 
unheard of among the Jews, concerning the 
nature and office of Messiah, to which the 
appearance of this man gave rise among that 
nation and their scribes in different parts of 
the world. 

Sabbathai Sevi, the yoiingest son of a poul- 
terer, at Smyrna, was born in that city in the 
year 1625^ In his childhood he won the 
admiration of the synagogue, by his great 
cleverness, and the zeal with which he pursued 
His studies. At fifteen years of age he no 
longer needed instruction in the study of the 



Digitized by 



Google 



476 8ABBATHAI SEYI, 

Talmud. In his eighteenth year he com- 
menced his career of Eabbi, with the title of 
Chacham. A multitude of disciples crowded 
to hear his instructions in the Cabbala; a 
study which may always be looked upon as 
the link between Jewish theology, philosophy, 
and even Christianity. With his public 
teaching he united in private the severest 
practices of bodily asceticism, after the Jewish 
custom of constant fasting and bathing. At 
twenty years of age he married, but in form 
only, continuing to lead a single life; this 
soon gave occasion to a divorce, which led to 
another similar marriage. His life became 
more and more that of a penitent; fasts six 
times in the week, midnight immersions in 
the sea, and every means of macerating the 
body in use among the Jews were employed 
by him. His personal beauty (it is said) only 
continued to increase, and his presence im- 
parted a perfume to the surrounding atmo- 
sphere. When questioned on these different 
points, he related in confidence that the patri- 
archs had appeared to him by night. In his 
twenty.fourth year (a.d. 1648) he declared 
himself publicly, "Messiah of the house of 
David," who should soon deliver Israel from 
the dominion of Christians and Mussulmans. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE FALSE MESSIAH. 477 

As a token of this high dignity, he ventured 
to pronounce the name of Jehovah, which we 
know to he considered hy the Jews as the 
crime of treason against the Most High. 
When questioned and censured on this account 
by the Eabbins, he replied that this power 
belonged to him as the Messiah. Soon after, 
having been condemned and outlawed by the 
synagogue, he fled to Salonichi. There, being 
received with great honour, he continued to 
teach in public and make disciples. A further 
decree of the Eabbins soon followed, which 
compelled him to flee to Athens, and then to 
take refuge successively in the Morea, at 
Alexandria, Cairo, and Jerusalem, in which 
city he contrived, without much difficulty, to 
take up his abode. At that time a certain 
Nathan Benjamin, from whom he had received 
hospitality during a stay at Gaza, ranged him- 
self on his side, declaring himself to be the 
prophet and forerunner of Sabbathai. He was 
not long in collecting by his fanaticism a 
numerous party. He wrote addresses to all 
the Rabbins in the Holy Land, announcing 
the approach of Messiah's kingdom, and de- 
creeing, in consequence, the abrogation of the 
Fasts pf Thammuz ♦ and of the ninth of Ab, 
♦ Zech. viii. 19. 



Digitized by 



Google 



478 BABBATHAI 8ETI, 

because the speedy restoration of Jemsalem 
would render needless all sorrow on account 
of her misfortunes and her downfall, The 
^essiah (wrote he) ^\ is at hand, and ere long 
will assume the turban and crown of the 
Sultan, as the Cabbala has declared. Then, 
for some time he will disappear, to seek, in 
company with Moses, the ten tribes hidden 
beyond the river Sabbation, and to bring them 
back. Then, riding on a lion, descended from 
heaven, whose tongue is like a seveuj-headed 
serpent, he will enter Jerusalem in triumph, 
after having destroyed a multitude of his 
enemies by the breath of his mouth. Then 
will take place the descent of the Jerusalem 
from on high, adorned with gold and precious 
stones, in which Messiah hinQiself wiU offer 
sacrifices ; then shall happen the resurrection 
of the dead, with many other events which 
cannot now be revealed," 

Sabbathai, in the meanwhile, continued 
quietly teaching the Cabbala at Jerusalem, 
imtil, in the fourteenth year of his residence 
in that city, he suddenly declared that he had 
a call from heaven to go into Egypt and take 
a wife. He soon returned with his bride, the 
daughter of a Polish Eabbi, who had been 
brought up among Christians. This third 



Digitized by 



Google 



T^£ PAItfSE ,)CE6$Lm. 479 

marriage, like the two preceding, was a mere 
matter of form, A short time ^iter (1665) he 
undertook to assemble the Jews in the neigh- 
bourhood, aQd dedica|;e his ireign by some 
public act; but when the Babbins at Jerusar 
lem also had pronounced him to be worthy of 
death, and this sentence had been confirmed 
by an assembly at . Constantinople, he took 
flight, and returned to JSmyma. There aU 
seemed at first to be in his favour; he was 
received by his coreligionists with royaj 
honours, escorted by hundreds of the Jews 
whenever he appeared in public, which he did 
every evening until midnight, amid songs of 
rejoicing, and with banners displayed. Stirred 
up by the false Elias (Babbi Nathan^ a carica^ 
ture of John the Baptist), the numbers gra- 
dually increased of those who came from all 
parts to visit him, and applaud his discourses, 
which were delivered in pubUc — according to 
some, in Spanish, In all the magnificence of 
Eastern costume, and surrounded with kingly 
state, he gave audience to these successive 
visitors, while in the synagogues blessings 
were invoked on his name, together with that 
of the Sultan in the prayers for the reigning 
powers. Many strange circumstances followed. 
The Cabbalistic book of Zohar became the 



Digitized by 



Google 



480 SABBATHAI 8EYI, 

order of the day; young men and young 
women, in a kind of ecstasy, prophesied with 
every kind of bodily contortion and convulsion. 
Even to the far-west the feme of and belief in 
the pretended Messiah spread irom day to day. 
In Holland a schism was on the point of 
breaking out in the midst of the Portuguese 
synagogue. A manuscript chronicle of that 
epoch, belonging to the community, states, 
that a letter had been addressed irom them to 
Sabbathai Sevi, full of the highest and most 
decided expectations, applying to him names 
and titles which could be addressed to the 
Most High alone. 

It is a striking feature in the whole history 
of the false Messiah of Smyrna, that we find 
much either of reminiscence or imitation, at 
all events of correspondence with the Grospd, 
with respect to the prophecies and attributes 
of Messiah and his kingdom, mingled with the 
Ridiculous absurdities by which this miserable 
deception was surrounded and supported. 
Thus, without knowing or even suspecting it, 
the J^ws themselves fulfilled in part the pro- 
phecy spoken by their true King and Redeemer 
(John V. 43) : " I am come in my Father's 
name, and ye receive me not ; if another come 
in his own name, him will ye receive." 



Digitized by 



Google 



T^E FALSE MESSIAH. 481 

Already, in the year 1666, the affiiirs of the 
fake Messiah were heginning to take a' differ- 
ent turn, when his arrival and vociferous 
welcome from the Jews at Constantinople 
excited some uneasiness in the Divan. The 
Grand Vizir, hy authority of the Sultan, Ma- 
homet IV., caused the impostor to he arrested ; 
even then he succeeded in heing treated as a 
prisoner of state. He obtained peimission to 
receive visits, and kept up all the dignity of an 
eastern prince, while he continued, at the same 
time, in the unceasing practice of the law as a 
severe Talmudist and Cabbalist. At the same 
time, he declared that the day of deliverance 
was at hand, and fixed as its furthest period 
the following summer; by this means he 
greatly sustained the courage of his followers, 
who, attributing the imprisonment of their 
Messiah to their own sins, did penance ; while 
he, on the contrary, .gave orders on aU sides to 
change the fast-days into days of feasting. 
While matters were in this state, a learned 
Cabbalist, named Eabbi Nehemiah, arrived 
from Poland. An intercourse of three days 
with the pretended Messiah enabled this Rabbi 
to see through and completely detect the absurd 
pretences of Sabbathai. From that time he 
openly protested against them, and sought to 



Digitized by 



Google 



482 8ABBATHAI 6ETI) 

turn away the people from the deceiver. He 
succeeded, also (but in a less praiseworthy 
manner,) in obtaining an audience with the 
Sultan, to represent the dangers accruing to 
his government from such fanaticism among 
the Jews. The Sultan in consequence com- 
manded Sabbathai to present himself at 
Adrianople. He went there, accompanied by 
a considerable number of his followers ; but 
when brought into presence of the Sultan, 
he was disconcerted, lost countenance, and 
declared himself willing to embrace Ma* 
hometanism to save his life. 

This incident, which seemed fitted to de- 
stroy the cause of the false Messiah, neither 
deprived the fanatical impostor of his im- 
pudence, nor his blind partisans of their 
reliance upon him. He declared that this con- 
version to Islamism formed one of the marked 
characteristics of the expected Messiah. Many 
of his followers and admirers repeated this 
subterfuge ; others, after the manner of the 
Docetee among Christians and the Mahomedans, 
pretended that Sabbathai himself had been 
taken up to heaven, and that it was only a 
likeness or image of his person which had 
been seen to change religion. The false 
prophet Nathan, especially in Damascus, 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE FALSE ME6SIAH. 483 

Aleppo, and Smyrna, continued to support the 
cause of the impostor against the condemnation 
and contradictions of the Rahbins of Constanti« 
nople. The eyes of many were nevertheless 
at length opeaed, and soon he lost all his 
influence and the greater number of his 
adherents. He ventiired to reappear ia the 
synagogue to introduce his liturgy, under 
pretext to the Sultan that he sought thus to 
win the Jews to his new religion. But the 
Vizir was not deceived; he arrested him 
again, and banished him to Bosnia. In 1677, 
ten years after he had embraced Mahometan^* 
ism, he died at Belgrade, some say of a natural 
death, — others, that he was secretly beheaded 
in prison. 

Such was the end of this fanatic, the Bar 
Chochab, or Mahomet, as it were, of his day, 
but without a single spark of the courage or 
character displayed by them ; while even his 
most determined enemies could not deny that 
he possessed superior talents. The sensation 
caused by his appearance and doctrines (as we 
have already said) continued to be felt long 
after his death. His system of cabbalistic 
teaching was introduced in different forms 
into the synagogues of Turkey, Asia Minor, 
and the states of Barbary, and afterwards into 
Y 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



484 THE JEWS IX ITALY. 

those of Europe also. Under the denomination 
of '^ Sabbathaism/' a more or less mysterious 
doctrine has been perpetuated in a sect, headed 
successively by different chie&, and variously 
named at different times. We hear of this 
sect especially full a century after the death of 
Sabbathai, in Germany, and particularly in 
Austria and Poland, under the command or 
the influence of a certain Jacob Frank, who 
endeavoured to unite cabbalistic Judaism with 
Christianity, in the same manner as Sabbathai 
and his followers had attempted to mingle it 
with Mahometanism. 

What the Mahomedan territories, the states 
of Barbary and Turkey in particular, were 
able to offer to the banished Israelites in the 
East, they found also in the West, in the 
Roman Catholic territory of Italy. 

The Spanish and Portuguese Jews not only 
brought with them, but found the synagogues 
of those countries already possessed of a large 
proportion of learning, and many sociaL pri- 
vileges. The dispersion of the Sephardim 
and their establishment in the country, the 
consequent increase in the number and activity 
of the Italian presses, produced effects not only 
on that body of the Jewish people, but also on 
the older Italian Jews, and even the Grerman 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWB IN ITALY. 485 

part of the Jewish population which was 
mingled with it, especially towards the north. 
No country, no period, since the hright days 
of Judeo-Spanish learning in the Middle Ages, 
had heen so fertile in men of talents and 
literature among the Jews as Italy just after 
the close of the Middle Ages. It seemed as if 
the days of Ahen Ezra and Maimonides were 
ahout to he revived ; at least, many are the 
names which the history of modem Jewish 
literature in Italy has recorded with distinction 
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 
At their head may he placed Elias Levita, 
sumamed Bachur (from the title of his hook 
on Hehrew Grammar), and Eahhi Ahraham 
Ben Meir de Balmes, — the one horn at Lecci, 
in the heginning of the sixteenth century, the 
other at Aisch, near Nuremburgh, in the latter 
part of the fifteenth. Both enjoyed the esteem 
of their Christian cotempotaries, and were 
employed in useful labours^ De Balmes prac- 
tised as a physician at Padua, and gave public 
lectures, both on medicine and philosophy, in 
which he had Christians as well as Jews for 
his auditors. He had been brought up in 
the Spanish school as a linguist and a man of 
letters, and he translated many valuable Arabic ^ 
works into Latin. Elias Levita also taught at 



Digitized by 



Google 



486 THE JEWS IN ITALY* 

Padua, but the breaking out of the war in 
1509 stript him of all his possessions, and 
compelled him to leave the city ; he removed to 
Rome, where he found favour with the Cardinal 
Aegidius, and his affairs became more pros- 
perous* In 1527, war again broke in upon 
his studies, and obliged him to leave Rome, 
which was taken and pillaged by the Generals 
of Charles V. He returned to Padua, from 
whence he was invited into Germany by the 
celebrated Paul Fagius, and for some time 
superintended a Hebrew press. The climate, 
however, so unfavourably affected his health, 
that, being advanced in years, he decided on 
returning to Italy, where he died, in 1642. His 
family long continued at Rome, where they 
bore the name of Tedesco, and were reckoned 
among the most honourable in the synagogue, 
on a par with the AscareUi, the Pessata, Da 
Rossi, Corcassa, &c. 

In the same city o^ Padua, another G^man 
Rabbi rose to distinction some time afterwards. 
Rabbi Meir Ben Isaac Katzenellenhogen kept 
up an active correspondence with the syna^ 
gogues, both of the east and west ; while his 
opinions on matters of theology were sought for, 
and repeated as far as Poland. He died in 1565. 
One of his cotemporaries. Rabbi Obadiah Ben 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN ITALT. 487 

Jacob Sefomo, wrote commentaries on the 
Pentateuch, the Psalms, the Books of Job, 
Canticles, and Ecdesiastes. He dedicated this 
last commentary, and also a Latin treatise on 
metaphysics, to King John II. of France. He 
was also a great friend of Beuchlin. In the 
second part of the sixteenth century, Babbi 
David Ben Isaac de Pomis, bom of a family 
who traced their residence at Borne to the 
time of the destruction of Jerusalem, distin- 
guished himself as a physician, and also as the 
author of several grammatical and exegetical 
works. He dedicated his lexicon to Pope Six* 
tus v., who highly esteemed him. There, also, 
lived Babbi Gedaliah, of the celebrated family 
of the Yachias, from Portugal, who died in the 
year 1590, at the age of ninety, having estab- 
lished his character among the learned 
men of Israel, by more than twenty volu- 
minous works upon the various subjects of 
exegesis, theology, and philosophy* One of 
these, his well-known " Chain of Tradition," 
is a monument, both of the diligence and of 
the great deficiencies to be observed in the 
study of history among the modem Jews* At 
Ferrara, a cotemporary, Babbi Abraham Fari- 
sol, of Avignon, wrote his Cosmography, which 
is valued for its many interesting observations. 



Digitized by 



Google 



488 THE JEWS IN ITALY. 

Rabbi Azaria de Rossi (in Hebrew, Adomim), 
of Mantua, wrote a historico-critical work, 
called "Meor Enaim," "The Light of the 
Eyes ; '' and David Ascoli published in Latin 
a " Remonstrance against the Decree of Pope 
Paul IV.,*' reiterating the ordinance that the 
Jews should wear a distinctive mark on their 
raiment, which procured for him some years 
of imprisonment J 

Among the ornaments of the Italian syna^ 
gogue in the seventeenth century, we may 
name Rabbi Jehuda Ariel, better known by 
the name of Leo of Modena, head of the syna^ 
gogue at Venice, and author of many works 
both in Italian and Hebrew, on literature, 
antiquities, and theology ; Joseph Conzio, of 
Asti, a poet, and commentator on the Book of 
Esther ; Deborah Ascarelli, of Rome, a poetess 
in her native Italian tongue; Rabbi Simon 
Luzzato, known by his interesting observations 
on the Jews of his own time, and also the 
ancestor of many who, like himself, were famed 
among the Israelites for their writings ; Rabbi 
Moses Cohen Porto distinguished himself in 
the same line; Rabbi Salomon Ben Isaac di 
Marino was the author of a valuable com- 
mentary on Isaiah; Moses Ben Mordecai 
Zacuta, of Amsterdam, settled at Venice in 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWd IN If ALY. 489 

1649, and is known both as a cabbalistic theo>- 
logian, and a mystical poet; Sabbathai Mamia, 
who attempted a translation of the Metamor- 
phoses of Ovid, with many others. Among 
the various studies of the Jews at that period, 
we must not omit that of music. Mention is 
made in the year 1623, of a "Partitim," pub- 
lished by Babbi Salomon Mehachachamim, 
of Venice, upon the text of one of the Psalms 
of Solomon. Already, however, towards the 
close of the seventeenth century, the lustre of 
Jewish literature in Italy was beginning to 
fade, only to revive in a later period, with a 
brightness which we shall have, by and by, to 
remark upon. 

During the two centuries and a-half which 
are now before us, taking into consideration 
the spirit of the age, and the great variety of 
countries, sovereigns, and times, — the Jews, in 
their social and political position, met with 
more of favour than oppression. With very 
few exceptions, we find, in the Papal States at 
least, no traces of persecution or violence pro- 
ceeding from the Government; while, in the 
maritime and trading cities of Italy, the liberty, 
privileges, and wealth of the Jews, (the latter, 
unfortunately, not always honourably acquired,) 
were^ ingeneralj considerable, andofteneminentv 
T 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



490 aflE JEWS IN ITALY. 

More thtLU once we find them employed witili 
honour and success in diplomatic missions, not 
by the Eepublic of Venice alone, but by the 
Duke of Ferrara, and even the Emperor of 
Germany. Over the whole of Italy the Jewish 
synagogues were in a flourishing condition; 
more than a hundred were in existence at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century. When, 
in course of time, they had afterwards dimi- 
nished both in number and splendour, Rome 
itself, about the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, still contained no less than nine, the 
Rabbins of which exercised a degree of influence 
throughout the whole of Italy. The Jewish 
population of the city at that time amounted 
to thirteen or fourteen thousand souls. 

We must take a few minutes longer to 
notice the position of the Jews in the States of 
the Church, and particularly in connexion wilii 
the Popes. This connexion, though in gene- 
ral a friendly one on the part of the sovereigns 
of Rome, was yet exposed to continual varia- 
tions, in consequence of the very frequent 
change of the temporal and spiritual head of 
the Government. These variations we have 
already observed in the history of the Middle 
Ages; and the same occurred even in more 
enlightened days, after the commencement of 



Digitized by 



Google 



rCHB JEWS IN ItALY* 491 

the sixteenth century. Thus, for example, 
Paul III. (1534—1549) showed them peculiat 
&,your, — so much so, that ha was reproved by 
Cardinal Sadoletus. This Pope, an enemy to 
persecution, sought to gain the Jews to the 
Church by forming an establishment for the 
conversion of that nation. Paul IV. (1655 — 
1559), on the contrary, severe towards the 
Christians, even to Philip II. of Spain, treated 
the Jews with especial harshness, forbidding 
them to have Christian servants, limiting them 
to one synagogue in each city, and imposing 
anew the old vexations of the ghetto, and the 
peculiar mark. Pius lY., his immediate suo> 
cessor, in his turn lightened their burdens, 
and showed them every kindness. Pius V., 
on the contrary, loaded them with reproaches 
and harsh speeches, driving them from his 
territories, with the exception of Rome and 
Ancona. The reason for this exception must 
be looked for apparently in the evils which 
had before accrued to Ancona on a similar 
occasion, when either open or concealed per- 
secution had compelled the Jews to transport 
elsewhere the seat of their fortunes, when by 
the active co-operation of the Turkish Rab- 
bins a large proportion of its commerce had 
been removed to Pessaro^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



492 THE JEWS IN ITiLLT. 

Again, Gregory XIII. (1572—1585) took 
pains foT their conversion, but by an error of 
judgment he compelled them to be present at 
a sermon preached expressly for them in one 
of the churches; Sixtus V. did not conceal 
that he granted them protection solely from 
temporal and political motives. He gua- 
ranteed to them liberty of residence and of 
trade, with the free exercise of their religion; 
and, to a certain extent, equal rights with his 
Christian subjects. Clement VIII. (1692 — 
1605) again restricted their liberty of resi- 
dence, confining it to the cities of Home, 
Ancona, and Avignon. Among the Popes 
who succeeded him, Innocent XI., the cele- 
brated antagonist of Louis XIV., (1676 — 
1689,) was the most distinguished for his 
humanity and benevolence towards the Jews : 
at the time when the Morea was occupied by 
the Venetians, it was owing to the special 
protection of the Pontiff that the Jewish pri- 
soners were released as well as the Christians. 
The obligation of hearing the sermon was, 
however, strictly enforced by this Pope. The 
conduct of succeeding Pontiffs towards the 
Jews has never offered any striking traits 
either of fitvour or severity. 

The history of the Itidian Peninsolai as it 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN ITALY. 493 

regards the Jews, shows a marked bias in their 
favour about the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, which, however, was of little avail in 
restoring them to a country from which they 
had been banished for centuries, and where, 
as in Spain and Portugal, their descendants 
had mingled with the higher and lower no- 
bility after a true or feigned conversion to 
Christianity, but where they had never been 
admitted as Jews. This country was the 
kingdom of Naples, in which, however, the 
Inquisition had never been able to establish 
itself. Charles III. (of the Spanish branch of 
the Bourbons) published in 1740 an edict, by 
which permissibn was granted to the Jews for 
a term of fifty years to establish themselves at 
Naples, with liberty of trade by sea and by 
land, right of their own jurisdiction, and a 
position as much as possible on a footing with 
the rest of the King's subjects^ In this edict 
they were allowed to possess what books they 
liked in any language ; to prtu^tise and teach 
medicine; to have their own burial-ground 
and market-place ; to hold Turkish slaves on 
the single condition of restoring them to 
liberty in Case of their baptism, on receipt of 
a consideration; to have Christian servants, 
the men to be above five-and-twenty, and the 



Digitized by 



Google 



494 THE JEWS IN FBANCB 

women above fiye-and-tihirty, with every other 
liberty and privilege possible in those days^ 
and under a dynasty of Spanish extraction. 
This edict, however, was never put in execu- 
tion, owing to the ill«will of the Koman Ca- 
tholic poptdation stirred up by the Jesuit, 
P^pe, also high in esteem at Court, though 
neither his opposition nor his threats could 
deter the King from carrying out his inten- 
tions. The people conspired on all sides to 
make any settlement of the Jews impossible, 
and it appears there were even some thoughts 
of a general massacre. Whatever was really 
the case, the project, thus arrested in its 
beginning, was never afterwards mooted. 

In France, as we have before noticed, the 
Jewish population from the beginning of the 
sixteenth century was composed of three de- 
cidedly different bodies: the French Jews^ 
(among whom we may reckon those of Avig- 
non, though many were of Italian descent); 
the Spanish and Portuguese Jews; and the 
Alsatian Jews, who, as well as the Jews of 
Lorraine, were in reality Grerman Jews, who . 
had become the subjects of France, either by 
right of Conquest under Louis XIV., or by 
treaty and inheritance under Ijoxoe XV. We 
have mentioned the settlement and privileges 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND GBEAT BRITAIN. 495 

enjoyed by the Spanish and Portuguese emi- 
grants in France, and also of a body of Jews 
and their descendants in the southern pro- 
Tinces of France, especially in Provence. 

The science and literature, as weU as the 
trade and civilization of the Jews of France, 
was entirely concentrated in these two divi- 
sions of the people. 

Of the remaining tfewish {x>pulation, part 
had disappeared, and the rest had sunk to a 
level witii their brethren in Germany, being 
rather endured upon sufferance than tolerated 
by virtue of rights or privileges. No names 
worthy of note in history have been found 
among them. Whether the famous banker, 
Samuel Bernard, (the Kothschild of his time, 
who went over to^the Roman Catholic Church, 
and established his family by marriages with 
many of the chief houses in France), belonged 
to the original Jews of France, or to a family 
of Israelitish refugees in that country, is un- 
certain. French memoirs of his time speak of 
the eminent financial services he rendered to 
.Louis XV. in the latter and more disastrous 
years of his reign. The haughty monarch, 
already advanced in years, might be seen 
condescending himself to conduct the Jew, 
Samuel Bernard, over his palace, and exhibit- 



Digitized by 



Google 



496 THE JEWS IK FBANCE. 

ing the curiosities of the royal abode at Marly. 
The Jewish capitalist was unable to resist 
these royal attentions, and the monarch in his 
distress was too happy to secure the friendship 
of this new ally. 

During the same century, the eighteenth, 
Paris became again the residence of a Jewish 
population, composed of the three bodies 
before mentioned, who came to increase in 
that capital both their own numbers and their 
temporal resources. The Jews in Alsace 
meanwhile continued in as abject a condition 
as in any part of Germany, because of the 
horrible leprosy of usury which there, in par- 
ticular, made them hateful. In Strasburgh, 
only a very few families were allowed to 
reside, the members and descendants of which, 
even to the present day, have obtained esteem 
in equal proportion with the contempt that is 
awarded to the rest of their nation. In Lor- 
raine, also, the whole of the Jews were in bad 
odour for the same reason. Duke Leopold, in 
1724, had established the laws concerning 
them on a permanent footing. Prom that, 
time permission to reside was granted only to 
180 families^ with liberty of conscience and 
permission to trade, but with strict injunctions 
to keep within the Jewish quarters. At the 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN PEANCE. 497 

same time heavy taxes were imposed upon 
them in Germany, and even the degrading 
obligation to pay toll as cattle, — an imposition 
which Louis XVI. first did away with in 
France in 1784, and King Frederic Wil- 
liam II., three years after, in Prussia. In the 
rest of Germany this toll was not abolished 
till the revolutionary era had commenced. 

It is a fact worthy of note, that the period 
we have just named — the period which effected 
such a complete change in the position both 
of Protestants and Jews in France, as well as 
in all ranks and classes of society, was brought 
about, in great measure, by men who were at 
heart entirely indifferent to Protestantism, and 
full of contempt and hatred towards the Jews. 

The philosophers and Encyclopedists 
(though for different reasons) certainly looked 
with no more favour on the Jews than those 
who, in ancient times, had persecuted them 
because of their religion. Intolerant Chris- 
tians had shown aversion to the Jews because 
they were the enemies of the Gospel; the soi' 
disant tolerant Infidels hated them, on the 
contrary, because of their position as mtnesses^ 
to the Gospel; because Jesus Christ and his 
apostles had been of their race ; because their 
very existence constituted a proof and an in- 



Digitized by 



Google 



498i THE JEWS IN GEEAT BBITAIN. 

contestable eyidence of the historical truth of 
the Old as well as the New Testament No 
one could have carried contempt and hatred 
for all that relates either to religion or to the 
Jews (including Christianity) to a greater 
height than did Voltaire, at once the cham- 
pion and the idol of what was looked upon as 
religious tolerance and philosophical philan- 
thropy. 

Long before the cry of liberty and equality 
had spread from the centre of America and of 
France on the European Continent, the Gro» 
vemment of Great Britain had already tried 
the adventurous step of granting naturaliza* 
tion to the Jews, with some few restric- 
tions, which the nature of the constitutioa 
rendered absolutely necessary. The number 
of the Jewish population in England at that 
time was calculated at about 1,200, which has 
since been more than doubled. The richer 
and more influential members of the com- 
munity had, from the time of their admission, 
loyally served the Government, both in person 
and with their capital; they had still more 
recently, during the insurrection of 1745, 
given proof of their fidelity to the reigning 
Protestant dynasty. In the colonies, as we 
have seen, they were £rom the first admitted on 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IK OBEAT BRITAIN. 499 

a footing of equality with the former English 
inhabitants. For all these reasons the ministers, 
in 1753, brought a Bill into Parliament 
*' granting to all Jews who had resided in 
Great Britain or Ireland for the space of three 
years the rights of English citizenship, with 
the exception of patronage and admission to 
Parliament." The Bill passed, notwithstand- 
ing violent opposition both without and within 
the House ; some of the speakers in the debate 
uttered the most disastrous forebodings as to 
the consequences of such a measure upon the 
honour, the commerce, and especially the 
religion of the country, which they beheld in 
idea entirely pervaded by Judaism. After the 
law had passed, however, public feeling against 
the measure was far more loudly expressed ; 
one of the Bishops who had voted for it was 
hooted and otherwise ill-treated, and the Go- 
vernment was beset on all sides with Petitions 
for a repeal of the Bill. Shortly after it was, 
in fact, repealed by Parliament on the recom- 
mendation of the Ministers. It is worthy of 
remark, that the Jews themselves at that time 
appeared little anxious for the success of the 
measure. On the contrary, they were rather 
opposed to it, fearing on liieir own side great 
danger to the religion of their &thers, just as 



Digitized by 



Google 



500 THE JEWS IN BOHEMIA, 

the Christians did on theirs. A circumstance 
calculated to increase this fear on the part of 
the Jews was the conversion of Simpson 
Gedeon, son of one of the principal Jews in 
London, to the faith of the English Church. 
He married a sister of General Gage, and waa 
returned to Parliament for the county of 
Cambridge, and afterwards for Coventry. It 
was among the higher ranks of society in 
England, generally speaking, that most dis- 
pleasure was felt at the repeal of this law. 

In the midland and eastern parts of Europe 
the monotonous history of Israel's degradation 
and humiliation was varied from time to time 
by adversities and events of a different nature 
from those we have just described. Among 
the Sclavonic races, including the whole of 
Hungary to the very confines of Turkey, the 
Jews, as of old, continued to form an essential 
element of society by means of their incredible 
activity. They were the sole intermediate 
agents between the jovial and warlike nobility 
and the rest of the inhabitants, who were 
treated nearly on the footing of serfs. By this 
means everything that was in any way con- 
nected with commerce, manufactures, and 
trade in retail, fell entirely into the hands of 
the Jews, and was carried on by their inter- 



Digitized by 



Google 



HUNGABY, RUSSIAi AND POLAND. 501 

yention. In other respects, excluded from all 
intercourse with Christians in everything 
relating to science, art, and mental cultivation, 
their fine capacity and high intellectual powers 
were for the most part confined wit^ the 
narrow circle of their own theological studies. 
This barren and death-like condition, however, 
could not entirely preserve them from some 
remains of mediaeval persecutions. Thus, in 
1541, accusations were laid against the Jews 
of having been the cause of a series of in- 
cendiary fires which at that time desolated 
Bohemia, and they had already received orders 
from the Emperor to leave the country, when 
fortunately the real culprits were discovered, 
and the Jews cleared from the accusation. 
Soon after, a fresh persecution was raised, with 
new threats of expulsion; while an inquiry 
was set on foot to decide the question, whether 
the Jewish prayer-book contained curses 
against the Christians. They gained but 
little in being absolved from this new accu- 
sation ; for a decree of banishment was on the 
point of being hurled against the whole of the 
Israelitish population, when a Jew,' named 
Mordecai Temak, obtained the intervention of 
Pope Pius IV., and by this means averted the 
execution of the decree. Another disaster was, 



Digitized by 



Google 



503 THE JEWS IN BOHEMIA, 

about the same time^ added to their mis- 
fortunes by a fire, which at Prague consumed 
the whole of the Jewish quarter. In the year 
1674 many Jews of Moravia lost their lives 
during an insurrection of the people. During 
the course of the seventeenth century more 
favourable relations were established between 
the Bohemian Government and its Jewish 
subjects. By their zeal and activity in the 
defence of the city of Prague against the 
Swedes, conjointly with the Imperial troops, 
they gained both applause and privileges; 
among the latter was permission to take part 
in the public festivities, on account of the 
peace, (in 1649,) bearing two banners, which 
had on some former occasions been presented 
by the Emperor of Germany to the Jews. On 
the other hand, they had in Hungary excited 
the wrath of the Imperialists by holding out 
their quarter against them when the Turks 
were in possession of the rest of the town. 

The year 1744 seemed likely to bring upon 
the two hundred thousand Jews of Bohemia a 
catastrophe more terrible than any their nation 
had experienced for the space of two centuries, 
— a banishment in perpetuity from that 
country! The States-General of the Nether- 
lands, at the request of the synagogue of 



Digitized by 



Google 



HUNaART) BUjBSIA, AND POLAND. 503 

Amsterdam^ took a lively interest in their case, 
and, supported by the English Government, 
succeeded in making manifest the innocence of 
the Jews and persuading the Imperial Govern- 
ment to reverse this terrible decree, — ^not, 
however, before thousands of Jews had left the 
country. 

In the Bussian or Muscovite territory but 
few Jews were to be met with during the 
period between the sixteenth and eighteenth 
centuries. They appear, however, to have 
been admitted during the reign of Peter the 
Great, as the Czar is reported to have said, 
y^^ He did not fear for his Russians the cleverest 
or most crafty Israelite." In the reign of the 
Empress Elizabeth, 1745, their residence in 
Russia was again forbidden, on account of a 
correspondence which had been discovered 
with the exiles of Siberia. The large portion 
of the Jewish population of Poland which is 
under the sceptre of Russia has been often 
tyrannized over, but never driven out by the 
Government. We hear also of another part 
of Russia, in which a body of Jews have not 
only existed, but attained distinction in a 
peculiar manner. In the Ukraine they have 
long been devoted to agriculture and the study 
of natural history, with other similar mental 



Digitized by 



Google 



504 THE JEWS IN BOHEMIA, 

and bodily ^xerased. They are said to have 
attained in consequence a high degree of 
civilization, and to have been admitted to posts 
of honour and of public trust. In the Crimea, 
also, there hare long been whole villages of 
Jews distinguished by their prosperity and 
mental culture. 

Poland, meanwhile, has ever remained 
classic ground, as respects the singularity, 
both in position and character, of its Jews, 
during their long exile and deep humiliation. 
The Jews themselves look upon thdr Polish 
brethren as the most highly-gifted of the nation, 
both in intellectual power and every kind 
of mental qualification. Nowhere else do we 
find in so great a degree, among the dispersed 
nation, a life of so much social activity com- 
bined with a remarkable bent towards religion 
and contemplative philosophy; nowhere else 
sp wide a separation between science and 
theology, and, at the same time, such great 
capacity for scientific knowledge; nowhere 
else such deep national debasement, re- 
sulting from ages of ignoble occupation 
and servile subjection, with a character 
so highly respectable, both in its moral 
qualities and domestic relations; in a word, 
nowhere do so many remains of ancient | 



Digitized by 



Google 



HUNOARY, BU88IA, AND POLAND. 505 

nobility, and, at the same time, of the most 
wretched degeneracy, appear even in the ex- 
pression of countenance and stature of body. 
These singular and original characteristics of 
the Polish Jew are to be foupd, not only in the 
mystic theosophy which usually distinguishes 
their schools and their theologians, but even in 
the existence of Caraites amidst these i^yna* 
gogues, in other respects buried, if we may so 
express it, in the study of the Talmud. 

We shall not be surprised, then, to find that 
Poland, in great part, supplied the synagogues 
of Germany with teachers and rabbins, ^fter 
the beginning of the seventeenth century. I 
say, after the beginning of the seventeenth 
century; because, before that time Bohemia 
seems to have been superior to Poland in this 
respect, which itself received its principal rab- 
bins from the Jewish academy at Prague. 
The synagogues of Bohemia, in the earlier part 
of the period we are now considering, boasted 
of learned men and authors, such as Rabbi 
David Ganz, who, in imitation of the Spanish 
Ilabbi, Abraham Zacuth, and of the Italico- 
Spanish Rabbi, Gedalia Ben Jachia, wrote a 
Jewish chronicle, which is well known under 
the title of "Zemach David" (Branch of 
David). Rabbi Jehudah Bezaleel, of Prague, 



Digitized by 



Google 



506 SABBATHAI8M. 

who afterwards migrated to Poland, was the 
author of a book "On the Deliverance and 
Perpetuity of Israel," intended to encourage the 
expectation of a Messiah. Babbi Mordecai 
Japh6, and many others, were all disciples, or 
the disciples of disciples of Rabbi Jacob Falk, 
who made himself a name in the sixteenth 
century, by introducing into the synagogue the 
Christian method of disputation on matters of 
religion, and applying this method to Talmudic 
studies. In later years Cabbalistic Sabbathaism 
had, in the synagogues of Poland, a decided 
revival, and found, in the person of Jacob 
Frank, a simple artisan, an influential leader. 

From the time of Sabbathai Sevi, to that 
of the Frankists, Cabbalistic associations and 
views had never entirely ceased to exist. After 
the death of Sabbathai, Rabbi Nehemiah him- 
self became one of the most zealous supporters 
of the doctrines taught by the man he had 
mainly contributed to unmask. He was, in 
consequence, excommunicated, but, neverthe* 
less, made many proselytes in Germany ; he 
ended his career at Amsterdam, in 1690, where 
he had been living upon alms, as much detested 
for his opinions, as he Was admired for his 
prodigious learning. 

After his time, Cabbalistic Sabbathaism 



Digitized by 



Google 



SABBATHAIBM. 507 

re-appeared in a novel form, under the two 
leaders, Malach and Hajun. These two rah- 
bins, one of whom was of Polish birth, were 
the only surviving members of a Jewish carar 
van, consisting of more than thirty families, 
who, by means of subscriptions raised in 
Bohemia, Moravia, Saxony, and Holland, were 
enabled to visit Jerusalem in the year 1700, 
keeping most strictly the penitential fasts, and 
abstaining from all animal food, except on the 
Sabbath; while they announced that the 
coming of Messiah was ^t hand. Most of 
these Jewish pilgrims died of hunger and 
misery, or returned to Europe ; some, following 
the example of Sabbathai Sevi himself, went 
over to Mahometanism, at Jerusalem ; others, 
and among them some rabbins of distinction, 
embraced Christianity. These two men, the 
only surviving Jews of the dispersed caravan, 
began zealously to propagate the doctrines of 
the sect, in spite of the anathemas of the rab- 
bins of Jerusalem and Constantinople, which 
followed them into the midst of the German 
and Polish synagogues. Hajun published works 
which by their mystic singularity, but still 
more by their ppen confession of Trinitarian 
doctrines, excited to the highest degree the 
animosity of the Rabbins. Befutations, in 
z 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



608 SABBATHAISH. 

which the person, as well as the doctrine of 
the Cabbalist was vehemently attacked, were 
spread from Constantinople and Smyrna, as far 
as Amsterdam, and elsewhere in the Spanish 
tongue. The sect, notwithstanding, made great 
progress in Poland, owing (as its enemies 
declared) especially to its indulgence towards 
all sorts of irregularity and sin ; though, ac- 
cording to others, it was characterized by the 
observance of the severest abstinence. The 
two extremes are often found closely united in 
similar sects. There is little doubt, however, 
that fanaticism and superstition disfigured the 
sect of Hajun. 

In the year 1722, the whole sect was 
solemnly excommunicated by all the syna- 
gogues. Then, Hajun, proscribed throughout 
Europe, Asia, and Africa as a deceiver and 
teacher of false doctrines, contrived to be 
presented to the Emperor at Vienna, with 
whom he ingratiated himself by the manner in 
which he inveighed against ordinary Judaism. 
About the same time, many Rabbins of Mora- 
via and Bohemia joined the sect; among others, 
a certain Lobli played a conspicuous part as a 
kind of prophet, upon whom Hajun had 
imposed hands. A little later in the year 
1725, emissaries were sent out here and there 



Digitized by 



Google 



SABBATHAISM. 609 

to propagate the doctrines of the sect, in parti- 
cular, a certain Moses Meir, who visited Frank- 
fort and Manheim for that purpose. Severe 
measures were taken against the proselytes by 
the synagogues at Amsterdam, Hamburgh, 
and especially at Prague. In 1730, Moses 
Haiim Luzzato, who, in his youth had pub- 
lished several works of a mystic tendency, 
became a leader of the sect in Poland. He 
acted in concert with a physician of Wilna, 
named Jekuthiel, who headed a Cabbalistic 
movement of no small importance. His 
conduct, however, was unsatisfactory, and the 
close of his short career insignificant. To the 
Eabbins who examined him, he denied by 
letter all participation in Sabbathaism, and 
then again published hymns and writings 
composed according to those opinions, which 
display great talent. At last he appears to 
have entirely given up the prohibited views, 
and after having for a time gained a livelihood 
at Amsterdam by polishing diamonds, he set 
off for Jerusalem, where he ended his days. 

Another offset of Sabbathaism in those days 
was the sect of the Chasidim (or saints), who 
also acknowledge the Cabbala as the founda- 
tion of their doctrines and practice. They 
disciplined themselves with fasting and mace- 



Digitized by 



Google 



510 THE CHA8IDIM. 

ration, abstained from all animal food, and, in 
general, from all earthly enjoyments. Their 
chief bore the title of Tzadik (or, the righteous), 
a name which they still retain, instead of 
that of Rabbi. The first was a certain Israel, 
sumamed Baal Schem, who taught in Poland, 
and afterwards in Fodolia. His sentiments 
tod actions have been amply detailed in a 
book written in Getman Rabbinic, which, in 
the years from 1814 — 1818, had immense sale 
among the Jews^ He was revered by his sect 
as the representative of the Deity upon earth, 
to whose commands as much obedience was 
due as to those of God himself. The great 
drift of his teaching consisted in enforcing the 
Contemplation of God, tod strict obedience to 
the Tzadik, combined with a complete repose of 
the soul, which ought not to be distracted by 
the study of human science. Aftet Israel's 
death (1760) his three principal disciples, who 
were also his grandsons, were elected chiefe of 
three divisions of the Chasidim ; by this means 
the former unity of the sect was broken up, 
and it was afterwards formed into a number of 
communities or associations. Meanwhile, the 
number of its adherents had increased from 
ten to forty thousand. Israel Baal Schein is 
said, in the books of the Chasidim, to have 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE CHA8IDIM* 511 

been taken up to heaven, there to live in the 
society of angels, acting as mediator with God 
and reconciling to Him every Jew who brings 
up his children in the doctrines of the Cha* 
sidim. The dignity of Tzadik continued high 
in esteem long after the death of Israel Baal 
Schem ; not only was its possessor venerated as 
holy, but his whole family shared in the defer* 
ence paid to him, and all his relations were 
looked upon as saints among the Jews, His 
books, his clothes, his furniture, and especially 
his tomb, were considered as preservatives 
from and instrumental in the expiation of sin ; 
to serve the Tzadik gave a right to eternal 
life hereafter, — to converse with him was to be 
in a state of beatitude here upon earth. 

It is evident that the elements of this 
strange sect, most remarkable as a phenome* 
non in the Judaism of later centuries, are to 
be met with not only in the Cabbala of the 
Jews, but also in the soofism, or quietist theo- 
sophy, of the Orientals, and in great part like* 
wise in the Boman Catholic Church. The 
branch of Sabbathaism held by the Chasidim 
is so completely a mixture of divers ingredients 
that it bestows honour both on the Talmud 
and the Cabbala, though, in many respects, 
diametrically opposite one to the other. Thus 



Digitized by 



Google 



512 JACOB FRANK. 

the Chateidim declare themselves as originally 
Talmudist Jews, and their Liturgy is that of 
the Sephardim, while their hymns and poems 
are of Cabhalistic tendency. At last, the entire 
discrepancy between Cabbalistic Sabbathaism 
and the Talmud was made clearly manifest, 
when, in 1755, a certain Meschullam, a 
member of that sect, publicly burnt a copy of 
the Talfnud in tte midst of the Jewish quarter 
6f a city in Podolia. The Talmudist rabbins, 
who in theory exalt the Cabbala, but detest 
any practical application of it, needed not this 
mark of aversion to their book of laws, to make 
them feel how great an obstacle was opposed 
by the Chasidim to their doctrines and autho- 
rity ; they had already condemned the sect in 
Poland, on account of its numerous fanatical 
aberrations. 

The anti-Talmtidie nature of real Cab- 
balistic theology was made cleariy and entirely 
manifest, when Jacob Frank, by birth a Polish 
Jew (according to some, of Wallachia), and 
by profession, in his younger days, a distiller 
of brandy, first rose up in Turkey, in the year 
1760. When he began, at the age of eight- 
and-thirty, to preach his doctrines in the sylia* 
gOgues of Poland, and to m^ke open attacks 
upon the Talttiud, a schism ensued, in which 



Digitized by 



Google 



JACOB FBANK AND THE PRANKISTS. 513 

the Christian Government thought it right to 
interfere. The new sect which had completely 
cast off the Talmud, and taken the Zohar as 
the basis of its confession of faith, found favour 
and protection from the Bishop of Camentz, 
on account of the decided bias to Christianity 
contained in many of the articles of belief pub«* 
lished by Frank and his associates. He also 
allowed himself, without difficulty, to be bap- 
tized, so that the sect was soon looked upon 
rather as an excrescence of Christianity than of 
Judaism. Great obscurity rests, to this day, 
on the real sentiments and projects of Frank, 
as well as on the secret bias of the sect. It 
is, however, clearly ascertained that the doc* 
trine of the Trinity, as a dogma of the Cab- 
bala, was professed with all possible clearness 
in their confession of faith. The Zoharites 
(for so the sect called themselves) declared 
their belief; — " that no religion can possibly 
exist without the knowledge of God ; all other 
religion is an outward service of works ; piety 
and the love of God are the effects of a pro- 
found acquaintance with his nature, and this 
must be. sought in the study of his law, where 
it is found as within a kernel, from which it 
must be deduced by means of tradition ; the 
doctrine of Moses and the prophets has an 
z 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



514 JAOOfi FRAI7K AND TH£ FRANKISTS. 

inward meaning far deeper than that of the 
letter, without which it is only a dead letter, 
and the source of errors and mistakes, the 
cause of the dangerous doctrines of the 
Talmud; — according to the pure doctrine of 
the Word of God, there is one only God, the 
Creator and Preserver of all things, but re- 
vealed in three persons; — God has appeared 
£rom the beginning upon earth in human 
form, but after the entrance of sin he laid 
aside this form, and has since taken it again 
for the expiation of sin ; he will once again 
appear in human nature finally to deliver man 
from sin. As for Jerusalem, it will never be 
rebuilt, and a terrestrial Messiah is not to be 
expected.'* 

From this confession, which contains a mix- 
ture of truth with error, Frank and his fol- 
lowers ought certainly to be looked upon as 
belonging rather to the Christian than the 
Jewish faith, and they gained at first a 
fietvourable reception from the Roman Catholic 
clergy. A little later, after the death of the 
Bishop of Camentj^, the Church of Rome^ 
stirred up by the rabbins, began to look upon 
this sect as dangerous, and it was, for a time, 
persecuted on account of its Jewish Cabbalistic 
views, as it had been before by the synagogue 



Digitized by 



Google 



JACOB FRANK AND THE FRANKISTS. 515 

for its Cabbalistic Christian dogmas. Many 
of its followers emigrated to Turkey, where, 
for want of the protection of the Rabbi, they 
fell into the hands of the Cadi, and were after- 
wards ill-treated and plundered by the popu- 
lace. Many decidedly embraced the doctrines 
of th6 Roman Catholic Church, retaining, 
however, sufficient remains of Judaism to 
arouse suspicion. 

Jacob Frank, who, from the first, had de- 
clared himself a Christian, continued to act as 
head of the sect, declaring that the Lord and 
the Prophet Elijah had appeared to him, com- 
manding him to convert the Jews. He was 
looked upon with distrust by the clergy, 
though he declared himself an obedient son of 
the Church, and was for some time detained a 
prisoner at Czentoschow on account of hisr 
strange opinions, but afterwards delivered by 
the Russians when they took possession of the 
fortress in 1777. He then travelled through 
Poland, Bohemia, aQd Moravia, with a large 
retinue and great pomp, and established him- 
self for some years in the capital of Austria, 
under the protection of the Empress, Maria 
Theresa. From thence he went to Bruna, 
in Moravia, accompanied by a number of Jews 



Digitized by 



Google 



516 JACOB FRAKK ANi) THB F&ANKIST8. 

and Jewesses, always living in the style of an. 
Eastern prince, wearing a splendid uniform, 
and abundantly supplied from Poland with 
money for all his expenses. Many years later, 
when no longer admitted at Vienna, he fixed 
himself at Offenbach, in Hesse, where he 
lited in a kind of psQace, always keeping up 
the character he had assumed as head of a 
religious sect. There, numbers of Sabbathaist 
Jews from aU countries resorted to him, pre- 
senting gifts and joining in the public prayers 
which he conducted with a great display of 
magnificence, accompanied by all sorts of sin- 
gular ceremonies, the meaning of which have 
never to this day been explained. He died 
three years after his arrival at Offenbach, and 
was buried with great pomp according to-the 
rites of the Eomish Church, being followed to 
the grave by a great concourse of people as a 
public benefactor. A cross was set up over 
his tomb. For sotoe time his daughter took 
his place in the guidance of the sect, which 
was, however, soon dispersed, especially when 
the pecuniary supplies began to fail. Ten 
years after his death, his successors and chil- 
dren (for he left two sons besides his daughter 
Eve) published a circular letter addressed to 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE FRANKlStS. 517 

all the German synagogues, written many 
years before by Frank himself, exhorting the 
Jews to acknowledge the Christian religion. 

The evidence we gain from all these par- 
ticulars suffices to prove that Jacob Frank, 
the head of the Frankists, (although he must 
be looked upon as a fanatic or adventurer,) 
never wished to be otherwise thought of than 
as a professor of Christianity. Though par- 
taking in the views of Sabbathai Sevi as to 
value of Cabbalistic doctrines, he never at- 
tempted to give himself out as the Messiah. 
He rather considered that he had received a 
mission to unite together all religions, sects, 
and confessions. Among the paradoxical 
opinions he is said to have advanced, was the 
idea that the Lord Jesus Christ is still upon 
earth, and that he would soon again send 
forth twelve apostles to publish the GospeL 
The reasons of Frank's surrounding himself 
with all the insignia of high rank have never 
been explained. It has been suspected, and 
with much probability, that the pomp he 
assumed had reference to his dignity as chief 
of a kind of freemasonry or mystical Order, of 
which his sect have, since his death, kept up 
the marked characteristics. All that now 
remains of the Frankists is contained within 



Digitized by 



Google 



518 THE JEWS IN GERMANY. 

the Roman Catholic Church of Poland ; they 
are, therefore, Christians hy profession, though 
distinguishing themselves, as we have oh- 
served, hy a kind of separation, or *^ esprit de 
corps" and hy marked remains of Judaisnu 
Some consider that they still retain in secret a 
heHef in the religion of the synagogue. They 
are found in Poland, especially at Warsaw, 
dispersed among all, ev^n the highest classes 
of society, chiefly in the profession of lawyer 
or physician. They are said to have taken a 
considerahle share in the war of insurrection 
against Sussia in the year 1830: it has even 
heen said, that the chief of the Frankists was 
memher of the Diet of Poland, and afterwards 
obliged to take refuge as an exile in France. 

At the period of which we have been speak- 
ing, while in the southern and eastern parts 
of Europe Cabbalistic theosophy had brought 
about a stir in the midst of ancient Judaism, 
a movement of a very different kind was pre- 
paring in the north-western parts, and in Ger- 
many. In Prussia, Mendelsohn, the philoso- 
pher formed by Plato and Maimonides, was a 
cotemporary of the adventurous Cabbalist, 
Jacob Frank, in Poland and Austria. In the 
whole of Germany, where, during the eigh- 
teenth century, new changes in many ways 



Digitized by 



Google 



tHE JEWS IN 6EBHANY. 519 

for the exiles of Palestine were already being 
gradually developed, die whole state of the 
Jews, if not more deeply degraded than in 
Poland, was at least much more barren and 
death-like. Any one whd takes the slightest 
interest in the fate and the sufferings of the 
ancient people of God, cannot fail to be 
touched in reading the circumstantial accounts 
and the complaints of a German Jewish his- 
torian of our time concerning what his nation 
had done and sufiered, had been dind had not 
been, especially before the time of the peace 
of Westphalia and since, (with a ray of hope 
for better times,) until the reigns of Frederic 
the Great and Joseph ll. They were, to use 
the words of the historian, a ** mass of suffer- 
ing." And though they had already been a 
suffering nation — suffering because of their 
transgressions, and despised and chastened 
because of their sins and corruptions,* — yet, in 
the days which elapsed between the time of 
the Reformation and the dawn of the eigh- 
teenth and nineteenth centuries, they had, if 
possible, fallen still lower : — by long-enduring 
habit they had become almost insensible to 
their misery, and even to the shame which 
attended it A nation without a &ther-land, 
* ISee JoBf " Gescbichte der Jnden," yiiL 809, kc 



Digitized by 



Google 



520 THE JEWS IN THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

without unity, without arts and sciences, with- 
out government, without power, either moral 
or physical, with no longer ef en the conscioos- 
ness of that earlier calling and grandeur to 
which their deep downfal itself bore witness, 
and which might still have invested it with 
. something of tragic elevation^ if only they 
could have found, tears, like their brethren in 
Spain and in Palestine, to weep over the dust 
of Jerusalem, 

It is deeply painful to an Israelite who 
loves his nation, however dispersed, however 
humbled, to relate the history, or, rather, 
describe the death-like position of his people, 
at a time and in a country when that people 
exhibited no other feelings than those of 
pecuniary interest and self-preservation; yes, 
when they had so completely accustomed 
themselves to their abject and servile position, 
that the multitude of them no longer regarded 
it as a subject for tears, but rather made a 
jest of it; — far more deplorable was, then, the 
position of the chosen people than was that of 
their Sampson, who, until his lion-like strength 
returned with the hair of his Nazariteship, 
was compelled to make sport in the midst 
of the Philistines, because he had for a time 
turned aside from obedience to his God, We 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 521 

cannot look without astonishment, and even 
admiration, upon the elasticity of human 
nature, especially among the people of Israel 
(the people of the resurrection, as some one in 
our day has called them), when we consider the 
depth of wretchedness and degeneracy from 
which, particularly in Germany, the Jew had 
to be raised before he became even a man. 

Among the advantages from which the 
German Jew was entirely excluded during 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, was 
that of science, and under that term we must 
include even their owti theology. If here and 
there, during that period, one or two theo- 
logians are to be met with, and a few Jewish 
writings were published, the greater part, 
even of these, belonged, by birth or family, to 
the Sclavonic countries of Bohemia, Hungary, 
or Poland, rather than to Germany itself. 
The meagre stock of Jewish literature in this 
country offers but few Gefrman names of any 
note. Rabbi Naphtali Altschuler, in 1650, 
was the author of a commentary on the whole 
of the Old Testament; Nathan Spira, who 
died in 1577, published a few mystical works; 
Jacob Ben Isaac, in 1625, was the author of 
a book called the " Bible for Women," which 
is much in use among the Jews ; and Naph- 



Digitized by 



'Google 



522 THE JEWS IN THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

tali Herz wrote an introduction to the study 
of the Cahbala. 

In considering the relative social position 
of the Jews throughout the empire, as well in 
the separate Principalities as in the States, 
we shall find that in many of the former the 
Jews were not tolerated, at least, on any 
secure tenure, with liberty, privileges, and 
the right of building a synagogue. For 
example, the Electors Frederick II. and Otho 
Henry refused them admittance to the Pala- 
tinate; they were looked upon as equally 
unwelcome both in Prussia and Wirtem- 
berg, and in many cities of Saxony they were 
"refused water," according to the ancient 
Roman formula; 

In the free cities of the Empire, their posi- 
tion, though less precarious, was not much 
more inviting. We should be greatly mis- 
taken if we took what has been related of 
Hamburgh as a sample of their treatment in 
Ithe other commercial and republican cities 
of Gtermany during the period between 1517 
— 1789. Their happier position in that city 
arose from the arrival and prosperity of the 
Sephardim at the beginning of the seven- 
teenth century, whidh was extended in part 
to the originally German Jews of Hamburgh, 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN THE FREE TOWNS. 523 

. a circumstance which was not, in all cases, 
equally productive of good. 

We may form a juster idea of the feeling 
of aversion with which the Jews were tole- 
rated, from motives of interest, in the free 
towns of the Empire, hy recalling a well- 
known German proverb of the Middle Ages, 
which remained long after in application: 
" Happy is that town where there is neither 
Abraham (a Jew), or Nimrod (a tyrant), or 
Naaman, (a leper)."* We also find a striking 
account of the way in which the Jews lived in 
those cities ; and the light in which they were 
viewed by the learned men and the clergy, as 
well as by the rude, ignorant multitude, in a 
book written by the pastor and rector, T. T, 
Schudt, of Frankfort-on4he-Maine, published 
in 1714, and entitled, " Jewish Curiosities,'* 
In reading it, we hardly kiow which should 
most excite our astonishment, whether the 
deeply-fallen condition of the unhappy nation 
themselves, among whom even temporal pros- 
perity and well-being seemed to form an ex- 
eeption to the general rule, and who, as a 
whole, were, in that place especially, the con- 
tinual subject of prejudice, and the butt of end- 

* Felix est ciyitas in qua nosi est Abraham,- Nimrod^ 
et Naaman. 



Digitized by 



Google 



^24 



THE JEWS IN THE FREE TOWNS. 



less taunts and derision. Or is it not rather 
at the feelings and convictions of pastors and 
members of the Christian Church, who, with 
the prophets of Israel, the Gospel of Christ, 
and the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans 
before their eyes, appear to have rejected 
every feeling of humanity, every hope of re- 
storation for Israel, knowing only, like the 
Edomites, how to heap injury upon injury 
upon the children of Abraham? Yea, even 
accusing of Judaism and hdresy those who 
could cherish any cheering anticipations for the 
Israelites as a nation! And yet the book of 
the Rector Schudt, hostile and virulent as it 
is against the Jews in general, is interesting 
by the information it gives of their manner 
of life, customs, and peculiarities, which might 
be sought for in vain elsewhere. 

The local laws of Frankfort were in keeping 
with the general prejudices of the people 
against the Jews, — a few specimens will suffice 
by way of example ; they were forbidden to 
come out of their own quarter on Sunday, 
or any Christian festival, and even the gates 
of their street, or portion of the town, were 
locked ; they might not take into their house 
as lodgers any Jew, except their own family 
and relations to the second or third degree ; — 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN THE FREE TOWNS. 525 

they were not allowed to have Christian ser- 
vants or nurses, — nor to walk ahout the town 
at the time of any festivity, or during the stay 
of any foreign prince; — they might not fre- 
quent the public walks ; — if they touched any 
article of food in the market, they were com- 
pelled to buy it, with many other similar 
restrictions. 

Here, then, are a few traits, which clearly 
lAark the degree of esteem and well-being in 
society, which fell to the lot of that Jewish 
quarter at Frankfort, (until near the close of 
the eighteenth century,) whence sprung a few 
years later the celebrated commercial house, 
whose gold and paper should hold both sove- 
reigns and people in check, and in a manner 
decide upon the question of war or peace in 
Europe, 

And, yet, however miserable was the con- 
dition which we have just described of the 
Jews at Frankfort, this town was looked 
upon by them as a more desirable residence 
than many other cities of Germany, on account 
of the protection afforded by the Government, 
the freedom for commercial speculation which 
they enjoyed ; and, lastly, because of the high 
esteem in which the Rabbins of its Synagogue 
were*held throughout Germany. 



Digitized by 



Google 



526 THE JEWS IN THE FREE CITIES. 

Attempts were at times made to rid the city 
entirely of its Jewish population. The years 
of 1613 and 1815, witnessed scenes of a nature 
that call to mind the excesses of the famous 
flagellants; and which would, perhaps, have 
completely reviFcd them, if the magistrates 
had not at length succeeded in subduing the 
party who were at enmity with the Jews, A plan 
was formed by the populace, and encouraged 
by a number of the citizens, to pillage the whole 
of the Jewish quarter. This plot, which had 
failed in the first instance, was again revived 
in connexion with some other dispute between 
the magistrates ai^d the labouring classes. 
The people fell upon the Jewish quarter, and 
began to pillage; the Jews acted on the de- 
fensive, and several persons were killed and 
wounded on both sides. At last, the Jews 
were oyerpowered by the superior numbers of 
their assailants, against whom the magistrates 
would oppose no efficient force. 

An agreement was entered into, by which 
the Jews were compelled to quit Frankfort for 
ever, upon the sole condition of a safe-conduct, 
allowing them to retire unmolested. In con- 
sequence, more than 1,400 of the Jewish inha- 
bitants left the city; while a portion still re^ 
mained concealed, and protected by the more 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN THE FREE TOWNS. 627 

benevolent of the citizens. The Jewish quarter 
was closed, and the town even by this means 
with difficulty preserved in peace. 

Shortly after this display of yiolence, the 
power of the magistracy was re-established, 
and the Jews restored to their rights (1616). 
The affair was brought before the Imperial 
Chamber, and the leaders of the insurrection 
condemned to severe and even capital punish- 
ment. Fettmilch, the pipst guilty, was be- 
headed and afterwards quarterpd j two of his 
accomplices also suflferpd the penalty of death, 
while eight less guilty were publicly whipped 
in presence of the Jews. The latter were 
solemnly brought back into Frankfort, under 
an escort of cavalry and infantry, with banners 
flying, the full possession of their quarter re? 
stored, and thepaselves taken under the special 
protection of the Emperor, whose arms were 
suspended over the gate of the " Juden Strasse." 
The people agreed together to make them 
some amends ; the laws of the city concerning 
them were renewed and ameliorated in their 
favour ; only the rate of interest (always the 
avowed or secret cause of all these disturb- 
ances) was reduced to a moderate standard. 

This affair at Frankfort (the remembrance 
of which has been preserved by the Jews in a 



Digitized by 



Google 



528 THE JEWS IN THE FREE TOWNS, 

kind of poem, in the rabbinical dialect, in 
imitation of the book of Esther) had hardly 
ended, when the enemies of the Jews at Worms 
followed the example which was thus set them. 
A lawyer, named Chemnitz, together with 
many of the citizens, formed a plan for bring- 
ing before the Chamber of Justice at Spires a 
formal accusation against the Jews, by which 
means they flattered themselves with the hope 
of procuring their banishment. This plan 
having failed, because the sentence of the 
Chamber only served to regulate the rate of 
interest, they had recourse to a popular dis- 
turbance, against which the magistrates had 
pot power to afford sufficient succour. The 
Jews were in consequenqe driven out by the 
populace, the Jewish quarter taken by assault, 
the synagogue, which was said to have existed 
for 767 years, was demolished, and the bury- 
ing ground destroyed. The city was soon 
obliged to call in the assistance of the Elector 
Palatine; troops sent from Heidelburgh re- 
stored the city to order. The whole affair under- 
went a legal investigation, in consequence of 
which Dr. Chemnitz was degraded from his 
profession, and banished the country, while 
the Jews, escorted by the Imperial troops, in 
the beginning of the year 1616, took posses- 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IH THE FREE TOWNS. 529 

sion of their quarter, where they have since 
that time remained undisturbed. 

At Frankfort, near the end of the same 
century, the Jews suffered from a catastrophe 
of a different nature, the consequences of 
which reflect credit both on the inhabitants of 
the town and the sufferers from this fresh mis;- 
fortune. A terrible fire, which first broke out 
in the house of the learned Cabbaliat, Rabbi 
Naphtali Cohen, owing to the insufficient pre- 
cautions takefa against it, spread to the whole 
Jewish quarter, and reduced it to ashes. 
Even the enemies of the Jews were obliged to 
admire the resignp^tion which they evinced on 
this occasion. The Christians, on their side, 
showed great humanity towards the sufferers. 
' The citizens received into their houses whole 
families who had been at once deprived of 
home and subsistence, not without having 
consulted the clergy, who, wonderful to relate, 
had expressed their approbation. The Rector 
Schudt, however, of whom we have spoken, 
made this a cause of reproach to the citizens 
of Frankfort, while he profited by the occasion 
cruelly to malign the Jewish nation. But, 
even in the midst of the kindness shown at 
that moment to the unhappy people, voices 
were raised in the town declaring that if a 

A A 



Digitized by 



Google 



530 THE JEWS IN AUSTRIA. 

similar catastrophe should occur again, it 
would be necessary to massacre all the Jews. 
An edict from the Emperor Joseph I., ad- 
dressed to the chief magistrate of the town, 
put a stop to these threats, and to all hostile 
demonstrations. The Jewish quarter was soon 
entirely rebuilt ; their numbers amounting, at 
that period, to twelve or thirteen thousand. 

'[['he two principal states of the German 
Empire in which an amendment in the posi* 
tion of the Jews began to appear, and to de- 
velop itself as early as the eighteenth century, 
were Boman Catholic Austria and Protestant 
Prussia. This amendment, which has con- 
tinued in action to the present day, was, how- 
ever, accompanied by many unfavourable 
circumstances. It had been preceded by times 
of tribulation and oppression, similar to those 
we have just described in the free cities of the 
Empire. This had been especially the case in 
Austria. The house of Austria had in different 
ways been brought into connexion with the 
Jewish populations of different countries. At 
the close of the eighteenth century, the num- 
ber of Jews subject to Imperial dominion, 
in the Italian, Sclavonic, and German States, 
amounted to about two hundred and fifty 
thousand. Yet the ancient rights of the Em- 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN AUSTRIA. 531 

peror of Germany over the Jews had either 
fallen into oblivion, or devolved upon the sove- 
reigns of the diflferent states of Germany. In 
Italy the Austrian rdle had shown itself' 
fevourably disposed towards them; they are 
found in more than one instance employed by 
the Emperor on important missions, and even 
raised to the rank of nobility. In Bohemia 
and Hungary we have already told the vicissi- 
tudes of their lot, In Austria Proper, at 
Vienna especially, their position was at first 
unfavourable, and afterwards uncertain, till 
the reigns of Maria Theresa and Joseph 11. 
The laws which regulated the admission of the 
Jews, and their treatment by the Government, 
had here, as elsewhere, been made during the 
Middle Ages. From the first establishment 
of the duchy, in 1267, the Jews were looked 
upon as belonging to the sovereign of the 
country. A council, held at Vienna, in 1167, 
had already imposed the ordinary burdens and 
prohibitions, which in Austria, however, were 
not enforced with rigour. The formula of the 
oath (which was not used there only) in that 
country is worthy of special notice. The Jew 
was obliged to take it upon the hide of a pig, 
while the wording of it (as if inviting to per- 
jury) contained an almost explicit declaration, 

A A 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



532 THE JEWS IN AUSTRIA* 

that a curse rested upon himself and his chil* 
dren because of the death of Jesus. In after 
times, favour and iUUtreatment in turns fell to 
their lot under the government of the arch* 
dukes. At Vienna and elsewhere they were, 
both in 1420 and in 1464, persecuted and 
threatened with murder and pillage. Maxi* 
milian I. persecuted them in Austria and 
tolerated them in Moravia. Ferdinand L 
(1553 — 1564) granted them a residence in the 
Austrian capital, and a permission to trade in 
jewellery and horses, which latter they have 
since retained; afterwards he again drove 
them out. Maximilian II. (1564 — 1576) and 
Ferdinand II. and III. (1619—1657) granted 
them fresh liberties, and at Vienna they were 
in possession of a synagogue. But in that 
city especially, the populace were inclined to 
show them the very greatest hostility. These 
inimical feelings were increased in the years 
1641 — 1646, by false rumours, stating that the 
Jews were employed on all sides as spies by 
the Swedes. An Imperial "safe-guard" was 
granted them in 1649 against all threats and 
ill-usage on this account In 1668 they were 
accused of having set fire to the citadel : in 
consequence of this rumour the Jews and the 
citizens came to blows, and several were 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN AUSTRIA. 533 

killed and wounded on both sides. In vain 
this oppressed people implored the protection 
of the Empress, bom Infanta of Spain; the 
magnificent present offered tot that purpose 
was declined. An Imperial edict soon ap- 
peared, desiring the Jews to 4uit Vienna and 
the whole duchy ; and their synagogues were 
changed into churches. A single exception 
was made in favour of Wolf Schlesinger, agent 
for the Court; and by favour of this permis- 
sion other Israelites were soon after allowed; 
In 1677, Samuel Oppenheitner and Sampson 
Wertheimer took up their abode at Vienna as 
agents for the Court; in 1697, the Jews had 
again become sufficiently numerous to fotm a 
community. The Jews of Vienna, though in 
turns driven out aUd recalled, persecuted and 
favoured, had in the meantime some represent- 
atives of their nation high in favour at the 
Court. Thus the femily of Oppenheimer pos- 
sessed sufficient weight with the Government 
to prevent the publication of Professor Eisen- 
menger's celebrated work of "Judaism Un- 
veiled," which seemed likely in Germany to 
stir up fresh persecutions against that people. 
An Imperial mandate pronounced sentence for 
the confiscation of all the copies of the work. 
The author himself had only petmission to 



Digitized by 



Google 



534 tH£ JEWS IN AUSTRIA. 

preserve two^ which he carried with him to 
Berlin. There, in consequence of the recom* 
m^idation of the famous Yablontsky, the 
book had much better success, and not only 
permission but even pecuniary assistance 
towards the expenses of its publication was 
granted hy the King. This work is jiow well 
known in the literary world, and has often 
been made use of to the disadvantage of the 
Jew, although it did not succeed in producing 
actual persecution. In Prussia especially, the 
Government was really beginning to form 
juster notions of the duty and the interests 
of the State in connexion with this part of 
the population ; — e. g.y with the indestructible 
nation. 

But to return to their fate in Austria. Their 
position in that country greatly improved dur- 
ing the reign of Maria Theresa. At that period 
the families of Amstein, Eskeles, Zeidendorfer, 
Schlesinger, Sinzheimer, and Honig von Ho- 
nigsberg, were already high in favour at Court, 
and many of them raised to the nobility. Pro- 
tection from the Court, also, encouraged the 
establishment of manufactories and workshops 
among the Jews, and their position in general, 
with the exception of much exclusion, and 
many severe but perhaps necessary restric- 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN AUSTRIA. 535 

tions, became gradually more and more favour- 
able. 

During the reign of Joseph II., however, 
the legblation for his Jewish subjects was 
entirely remodelled by the edict of toleration, 
published in 1782, — an edict which has since 
been celebrated by Jewish pens, both in prose 
and verse, as marking a decisive epoch. By 
this edict all the old regulations were abolished, 
— the Jews allowed to take up their abode in 
any town they pleased, (though in the country, 
only by express permission.) A distinction was 
made by the same edict between the inha^ 
bitants of the country and strangers; the 
strangers (a burden which fdl as heavily 
upon the resident Jews as upon the country 
itself) were compelled to submit to many 
hard conditions ; — as a remuneration for these 
new liberties, a considerable amount of taxa- 
tion was imposed upon the former of the two 
classes ; but the freedom, also, when compared 
with the original state of things, was consi- 
derable; no more distinctive mark on the 
dress, — no exclusion from festivals and public 
walks ; — no confinement to a quarter apart ;— 
the military profession, as well as those of law 
and medicine, thrown open to them ; — the 
right of wearing a sword, and bearing titles 



Digitized by 



Google 



536 THE JEWS IN FRtJSSIA. 

of nobility was granted, though without the 
power of holding landed pitoperty; — all trades 
were permitted, though without admission to 
the guilds ; — protection to their children under 
fourteen against the proselytista of the Roman 
Catholics; — on their side the obligation to 
make use of surnames, to speak German in- 
stead of the language called Jewish^ and to 
make use of the public institutions for instruc- 
tion, whether Christian or Jewish. This edict, 
which was received with great applause by the 
Jews of Germany, formed really a turning 
point in the history of European legislation 
with regard to that nation. 

The misfortunes which, in 1670, had driven 
the Jews from Vienna, were the principal 
cause of their establishment and the increase 
of their numbers in Prussia, in which country 
the latter half of the eighteenth century beheld 
an effectual change in theit destiny, and a 
decided amendment in their position. Already, 
some time before the period we have named, 
the Jews had been again admitted into the 
states of the Elector of Brandenburgh. It was 
Tprederic William, surnamed, on account of his 
great virtue and Christian piety, the Great 
Elector (1640 — 1688), to whose humane and 
benevolent administration towards all who 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN PBUSSIAi 537 

were oppressed, the Jews were indebted for an 
asylum and a safejabode in Prussia. He was 
himself under great obligations to Heiman 
Gompertz atid Salomo Elias, his two agents for 
the Courts who displayed indefatigable zeal and 
unshaken fidelity in th6 rdanagement of all 
his financial resources for the war^ When the 
Jews, who had been persecuted in Austria^ 
applied, in consequence, to Neuman, the Resi- 
dent for Brandenburgh, at Vienna, with a 
request to be admitted into the Electoral States, 
the immediate reply was, " That forty or fifty 
respectable families would be willingly re- 
ceived." In consequence of this permission, 
the specified number soon established them- 
selves at Berlin, Potsdam, and other parts of 
the territory of the noble Elector. From this 
beginning sprung the whole synagogue that 
now exists in Prussia. The complaints which 
arose in different parts at the toleration and 
protection granted to the Jews, were met by 
the Elector with a firm adherence to the prin# 
ciples he had adopted, and a statement of the 
actual advantages which the country derived 
from its Jewish inhabitahts. In the year 1696|. 
their number was already so considerable, that 
Dr. Beckman, of Frankfort-on-the-Oder, re- 
quested permisnon to print the Talmud, in the 
▲ A 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



538 TH£ XEW8 IN PRUSSIA. 

foil expectation of finding a sufficient demand. 
In the last year of the seventeenth century a 
special body of rules for the Jews of the Elec- 
torate was first put in force. Calumnies and 
threats failed not to attend upon privileges 
which yet, as we shall see, did not prevent the 
continued exclusion of the Jews from public 
employment. At the same time, Jost Liebmau 
and David Riess, jewellers to the Court, re- 
ceived permission to hold the synagogue ser- 
vices in their private residence ; soon after, a 
public house of prayer was allowed, but sub- 
jected to strict inspection, lest the Jewish 
Liturgy should contain any signs of enmity 
towards Christianity or its professors. In 1 7 1 2, 
King Frederic commanded, on pain of severe 
penalty, that no vagabond Jews should be 
admitted into the country ; a measure which, 
as we have already remarked, was as much for 
the benefit of the resident Israelites themselves 
as for the other inhabitants, on account of the 
inconveniences and expense to which these 
were put by their wandering coreligionists, 
from which, to this day, they have never been 
entirely delivered. During the same reign, 
the synagogue at Berlin, one of the finest in 
Germany, was completed under the royal pro- 
tection, in Bpite of the clamour raised on all 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN PBTJSSIA. 539 

sides against so great a concession. The 
Government of Frederic William, (1717 — 
1740,) the father and predecessor of Frederic 
the Great, was equally fiivourable to the Jews ; 
at least he never persecuted them, notwith- 
standing the despotic tendency of his rule, 
while many of them were in peculiar favour at 
Court, and distinguished by various privileges. 
On the other hand, this same prince had 
imposed upon the Jews in his states some 
rather arbitrary charges ; such was an obliga- 
tion to purchase the royal venison, when the 
King in hunting had taken or killed more wild 
boars than he could consume at his own table. 
To comply with this absurd decree, they pur- 
chased the forbidden meat, and gave it to be 
consumed at the hospitals. A somewhat similar 
burden had of ancient times been laid upon 
them, upon any occasion of family rejoicing, 
such as the marriage of a son, the acquisition 
of property, or any similar event, the Israelite 
was compelled to make a purchase at the 
Boyal porcelain manufactory, to the amount of 
800 thalers. Afterwards, in the reign of 
Frederic William II., 1787, they were rejeased 
in perpetuity from this obligation on the pay- 
ment of 4,000 thalers at once. 

Frederic the Great is thought not to have 



Digitized by 



Google 



540 THE JEWS IN PRUSSIA. 

looked favourably upon the Jews. It would 
indeed have been surprising that the friend of 
Voltaire, the philosophic and infidel king, 
should have shown any personal affection for 
the people of the Old Testament in their dis- 
persion, at once so wretched and y6t so full of 
meaning. Nevertheless, he took great pains 
to become acquainted tvith their position in the 
state. Though his decrees cannot be compared 
in liberality with those of Joseph II. for his 
own peculiar states — though the legislation of 
Frederic for the Jews did not produce a very 
happy consequence, yet even ♦Jewish historians 
do not attribute such a result to. any ill-will on 
the part of the King towards this miserably 
oppressed nation, but to the wretchedness of 
the position in which he foiind them, and to 
their historical relations, which could not at 
once be changed. It is even related (so far 
was Frederic II. from any positive dislike to 
them,) that he himself made the observation 
that, "To oppress the Jews never brought 
prosperity to any Government." When, there- 
fore, he paid no regard to the merit of Moses 
Mendelsohn, or at least gaive him no token of 
approbation, it was rather the indifierence 
shown by the King as a- French author to 
* * See JoBiy iz. 35, 36. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN PRUSSIA. 541 

German literature in general, than any preju- 
dice against the Jews, which caused this neglect. 
On the contrary, many Israelites obtained 
reception and fatour at his Court, as well as 
that of his father. His " General Privilege," 
published in the year 1760, which in part 
abolished, and in part revived and confirmed 
the ancient laws concerning the Jews, appears 
to have had in view the diminution of their 
numbers, but, at the same time, the amend- 
ment of their social position. Hence arose the 
great severity with which the Government 
guarded against the entrance of strange Jews, 
and the precautions of every kind which were 
taken to assure a home to those Jews who 
were possessed off ivealth, and also to keep at 
a distance all who could not bring proof of 
possessing the means of subsistence. By this 
"Privilegium" the Jewish population was 
more strictly than ever divided into Jews 
tolerated hy inheritance^ Jews personally tole- 
rated, that is to say, only during their own 
life, to the exclusion of their descendants. All 
who were not positively engaged in business 
or connected with the synagogue by aty post 
or office, belonged to the second class. Among 
those who were tolerated by inheritance, the 
right of abode descended to only one child of 



Digitized by 



Google 



1 



542 THE JEWS IN PRUSSIA. 

the fitmily ; after 1740, by virtue of a privil^e 
purchased at the price of seventy thousand 
thalers, a second child might also enjoy his 
father's right, on giving proof that he possessed 
a capital of one thousand thalers. Tlie rega«- 
lations on the subject of marriage were especi- 
ally severe. All Jewish servants who wished 
to marry were obliged to leave the country. 
At Berlin the Jews were not allowed to hold 
in possession more than forty houses, in the 
rest of the kingdom the same proportion held 
good, and in no case without special permission. 
AU landed property was entirely refused to 
them ; while impositions in every possible form, 
and on every occasion, were levied upon about 
1,600 Jewish fistmilies, in 1786. Their sphere 
of activity was limited to trade either in money 
or effects, and in some few instances to indus- 
trial arts,* but only by express permission from 

* It is worthy of note, that the only art which at this 
period was carried to any perfection by the German Jews, 
was that of engraving on precious stones ; an art in which, 
up to the present time, elnd in abnost every countiy, they 
have shown peculiar skill and talent ; we may cite as an 
example, Joseph Levin, who engraved with great success 
on a diamond the arms of i^rederic L of Prussia. The 
preservation of this art is especially remarkable among 
the descendants of Israel, if we view it in connerion with 
the earlier period of their existence as a nation, when oa 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE JEWS IN PRUSSIA. 543 

the King. On the whole, they were treated 
as inferior to the other inhabitants of the coun- 
try, and the whole commnnity was considered 
responsible for the crimes of its individual 
members. In Silesia the regulations were 
more or less the same. The successor of 
Frederic the Great endeavoured by new laws 
to effect a salutary change for both Jewish 
inhabitants and residents. But the laws them- 
selves bear the stamp both of the fearfully 
degraded state of the Jewish population, and 
of the oppressive, exclusive, and repressive 
measures which were thought needful to the 
interest of that portion of the community. 
Since that time the prospects of the Jews, 
especially in Silesia, have much improved. 

The general impression we receive of the 
position in which the Jews were to be found 
in the Prusdan states, during the latter part 

so memorable an occasion, and for so peculiar a purpose, 
the engraving of stones was practised by men of Israel. 
£xod. xxviii. 21. In general, it is interesting to mark 
the connexion subsisting between the arts and sciences 
mentioned in the Biblical history of the Israelites, and 
those still subsisting among their descendants of the 
dispersion. Thus, to the present day, thej have continued 
to produce poets, singers, and musicians, but few painters 
and sculptors — ^not one who has attained any degree of 
eininenoe« 



Digitized by 



Google 



544 THE JEWS IN PRUSSIA. 

of the last century, is, on the whole, a melan* 
choly one. The wretchedness and degradation 
of the multitude is even more remarkable when 
brought into contrast with the riches and 
splendour possessed by some few individuals. 
And yet, as the historian whom we have often 
quoted remarks, it is to the good-will and 
privileges obtained by these favoured few, that 
the amended position and the social and 
intellectual civilizatidn of the German Jews 
owe their tery existence. 

The life of Moses Mendelsohn marks a very 
decisive period in the progress of science and 
literature among the German Jews, fruitful 
in results which were pattly favourable and 
partly dangerous to his nation. His friends and 
admirers applied to his praise the well-known 
proverb, which has been already quoted to the 
honour of Maimonides, — " From Moses to 
Moses there arose not a Moses.*' In truth, 
there were many points in common between 
the doctor and reformer of Cordova, and the 
philosopher and man of letters of Berlin, both 
in the bent of their minds and their views con- 
cerning the religion of their nation. It is 
from the time of Mendelsohn and his cotem- 
poraries, disciples, and imitators, that we may 
date the beginning of a completely new rela* 



Digitized by 



Google 



HOSES MENDELSOHN, ETC. 545 

tionship between the Jews and the people of 
Germany. We must delay a few minutes to 
trace the career of this remarkable man. 

Mendelsohn was born in 1729, at Dersace, of 
poor parents. His father was a Hebrew cali- 
grapherj— that is to say, a copier of the Bible and 
other writings in that language uponparchmenti 
His son, who was of a weakly constitution, 
and rather deformed, gave early tokens of an 
intelligent and scrutinizing mind. Without any 
instruction he ^Iready in childhood made 
attempts to express himself in the Hebrew 
language and style, as well as in its poetry. 
Afterwards, when nearly thirteen, he had the 
Eabbi David Frankel as his master in the 
study of the Talmud^ But even then, as well 
as afterwards, the writings of Maimonides, and 
especially the More Nevochim, were his 
favourite subjects of study. When hardly 
fourteen he was obliged to relinquish learning 
for the choice of a profession. He went to 
Berlin in search of employment, and there 
gained his scanty subsistence by following the 
occupation of copyist and corrector of the press, 
carefully making use of every leisure moment 
to learn the ancient languages and to gain 
instruction in general literature and philosophy. 
At that period he was under great obligations 



Digitized by 



Google 



546 MOSES MENDELSOHN 

to Rabbi Israel, a learned Jew, who had been 
persecuted by the synagogues of Poland on 
account of his opinions, as well as to Aaron 
Emmerich, a Celebrated physician and Hebrew 
author. He afterwards became tutor to the 
children of a distinguished coreligionist, who, 
struck with the amiability of his character and 
the greatness of his talents, intrusted to him 
the whole management of his affairs. (1753.) 
In the intervals of business he published, in 
concert with his friend, Tobias Bock, some 
essays on natural philosophy, in Hebrew, for 
the use of youtlg men who were studying the 
Talmud. This publication gave some ofience 
to the Rabbins, and he escaped persecution 
only by his strict observance of the Chral Law, 
to which he undeviatingly submitted all the 
rest of his life, although his internal convictions 
were little in accordance with its practices. He 
soon became intimate with Lessing, Nicolai, 
and other learned and distinguished Germans, 
his letters and conversations with whom have 
since been published. By his Phedon in 
German (on the immortality of the soul) and 
several other metaphysical works, he soon 
acquired greater fame among Christians than 
among the Jews, both as a philosopher and a 
distinguished writer and literary character. He 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND HIS COTEKPORABIES. 547 

also gained much esteem by the many amiable 
and honourable points in his character. Chris- 
tians in heart, such as Lavater in particular, at 
one time flattered themselves with discerning 
in this celebrated Israelite a future confessor of 
Christ, founding their opinion on several ex- 
pressions and views of Mendelsohn, in which 
the influence of Chris^tianity could not fail to be 
recognised. He made haste to undeceive them 
in a courteous but decided letter which he 
addressed to the respectable pastor of Zurich ; 
he continued, meanwhile, his labours, not only 
as an author and man of letters, but also as a 
reformer, though acting with the greatest 
circumspection and moderation. He it was 
who, in 1778, composed the report which had 
been demoded by the King of Prussia, con- 
cerning someparticular pointsof rabbinical juris- 
prudence, such as the right of succession, wills, 
&c. Soon after appeared his German version of 
the Books of Moses, the first chapters of which 
were accompanied by a commentary of his own, 
which was afterwards continued by two learned 
brethren ; one of these was the poet Hartwig 
Wessely, of whom we shall speak hereafter. 
The preface to this work, in which, with an in- 
genuity of mind that was his peculiar gift, he 
had been able to combine the views of a 



Digitized by 



Google 



548 MOSES MENDELSOHN 

philosopher with respect for the strictest pro« 
fession of Judaism, gained for him the appro- 
bation of some of the most rigid teachers 
of the synagogue, and, among others, Rabbi 
Saul, of Frankfort. The work itself soon 
found its way into the principal synagogues 
and schools of Germany. The knowledge of 
German made, by this means, unheard of 
advance among the Jewish youth. Mendelsohn, 
thus encoursiged, produced afterwards, with 
increasing success, a version of the Psalms and 
the Song of Solomon, which are considered 
classical. 

It was in this especially that the philosopher 
keptup the striking resemblance toMaimonides, 
his celebrated predecessor and model. Both, 
under the outward forms of Rabbinical Judaism, 
desired to give an entirely new direction to 
the religion of the Jews, to reform it, to 
develop it; while both equally failed to 
recognise how the true perfection of revealed 
Judaism is to be found in true Christfanity. 
Mendelsohn at last seized an opportunity of 
declaring more clearly (though always with a 
degree of vagueness) his own ideas on religion 
in answer to the then well-known treatise of the 
Councillor Dohm, ^^ On the Amendment of the 
political Position of the Jews." The statesman 



Digitized by 



Google 



AMD HIS OOTEMFORA&IES. 549 

in his work had started from the principle 
that every amendment must proceed from 
liberty arid equality of rights i^ society be* 
stowed upon the Jew, — from an entire reform 
in the systems of instruction and education, — 
from free admission to the practice of all 
arts and sciences, and even a participation 
in some posts and offices of State, — the 
authority of the synagogue over its members 
to be maintained, in cases of religious differ- 
ence, by the power of casting them out of its 
bosom for a time or entirely. It was precisely 
on this last ppint, concerning the authority of 
the synagogue as acknowledged by Dohm, 
that Mendelsohn fired up. He would not 
allow the synagogue, or any other religious 
community, to impose any restriction whatever 
on the rights of thinking and teaching. 

In the preface to his German translation of 
Menasseh Ben Israel's " Hope of Israel," he 
plainly declared his conviction, " that every 
society had certainly the right to exclude its 
members when they ceased to conform to the 
principle of the society; but that this rule 
coTild not in any way apply to a religious 
society, whether church or synagogue, because 
true religion exerts no authority over ideas and 
opinions ; but, being all heart and spirit, only 



Digitized by 



Google 



550 MOSES MENDELSOHN 

desires to use the power of conviction. 
Then, taming to his brethren of Israel, he 
exhorts tbem to take from the people among 
whom they live an example of charity, and not 
of hatred or intolerance, and to begin by 
loving and bearing with one another, that they 
might themselves be loved and tolerated by 
others." 

In this remarkable and singular controversy 
of the Jewish philosopher there are two points 
worthy of note. First, that he could, while 
holding such sentiments, entirely conceal from 
himself the influenceof Christianity over hisown 
opinions, and believe himself in all sincerity, 
an orthodox rabbinical Jew, In the second 
place, it is equally remarkable that, during all 
these, discussions, the Babbins should have kept 
completely aloof, and let pass so decisive a de« 
claration as that of Mendelsohn^ against all 
maintenance of order and discipline in the 
synagogue. 

A solution of the latter point is probably to 
be found in a certain consciousness, on the part 
of the synagogue, of want of strength to cope 
with one of its most influential members on the 
grounds of a social and philosophical question. 
It must have appeared the safer and more 
prudent part to rest satisfied with the obedi- 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND HIS COTEMPOBABIES. 551 

ence ^hich Mendelsohn at all times paid to its 
outward ordinances. , Sbon, however, it began 
to experience the ejects produced by his in- 
fluence and writings on a large portion of the 
German Jews, amoi^g whom, from that time 
forward, all respect for the Talmud began 
gradually to declinCt As for Mendelsohn 
himself, the contrast between his practice as a 
rabbinical Jew and the principles he advo* 
catpd in the preface we have just quoted, 
could not fiiil of exciting the attention both of 
£h.e Christian and Jewish biographers of this 
illustrious man. In a ^^ Letter to Mendel- 
sohn"* the inconsistency was openly noticed 
between his conscientious attachment to 
Rabbinism and his opinions on the subject of 
religion, so evidently borrowed from Christi- 
anity. To this attack he replied by his 
" Jerusalem ; or, a Treatise on Authority in 
matters of Beligion and Judaism ; " a work 
written with remarkable talent, but which, on 
the whole, served to show forth yet more 
forcibly the incompatibility of his theory 
and practice, and even of his own theory 
with itself. According to his view, religion 
consists in the disposition of the heart, — and 
that is not under the control of any power or 
discipline exercised by a church or synagogue. 
• Jost IX. 76—79. 



Digitized by 



Google 



552 MOSES MENDELSOHN 

At the same time he asserts, that the law 
of Moses (the law equally of Church and 
State) was not a law of faith, but of statutes 
and prohibitions. How, then, could he deny 
to the synagogue the right of condemning and 
excluding those who should refuse to observe 
that law which he himself, both in theory 
and practice, acknowledged to be binding 
upon every Israelite! The most zealous 
admirers of Mendelsohn have had great diffi* 
culty in clearing him from this inoonsistency, 
and have even been compelled to acknowledge 
it, at the same time excusing him, by sup- 
posing that he wished to prove by his own 
conduct, that the most complete liberty of 
opinion might be allied to the strictest ob- 
servance of the law, of which, however, he 
wished the spiritual interpretation to be left 
to the individual conviction of every Jew. 
The true key to this apparent contradiction 
is, perhaps, simply this ; inwardly, in the soul 
of Mendelsohn, the attractive force of Chris* 
tian principle exercised its power, and against 
this attractive force he thought to find a 
defence in the strict observance of rabbinical 
precepts, having, however, never attained to 
the very essence of the Christian religion, 
which is not to be found in the doctrine alone, 
but in the person of Jesus Christ. 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND HIS COTEMPOR ARIES. 553 

Whatever may have caused the inward 
struggles of the philosopher of Berlin, it is 
certain that, without wishing or suspecting it, 
Mendelsohn — as, six centuries earlier, Mai- 
monides — stirred up among his coreligionists 
a feeling of void that nothing hut the Gospel 
of the Son of God could satisfy, which, 
through the mercy of the God of Abraham, 
was made effectual to many after the time of 
Mendelsohn. 

It is worthy of remark, that, among Jewish 
confessors that Jesus is the Christ, in later 
years we find a grandson of this celebrated 
philosopher, the highly-famed musical com* 
poser, Mendelsohn Bartholdy, who not only 
devoted his art to set forth some of the sub- 
limest passages in the Old and New Testa- 
ments, but also felt in his own soul the power 
of that Christian &ith of which he had made 
open profession. Moses Mendelsohn died at 
the beginning of the year 1786, while em- 
ployed in a controversy in which he was 
engaged, together with Jacobi, against Les- 
sing, the friend of the latter, and the doc-, 
trines of Spinoza, which he was suspected of 
holding. He was universally regretted, as 
well by his own nation as by the Germans. 
To the liberal party among the Jews of that 

B B 



Digitized by 



Google 



554 MOSES MENDELSOHN, 

country, Mendelsohn had opened, as it were, 
a new field, both in religion and literature. 
The German Jews, however, at that time 
could boast of other men of science and talent 
besides Mendelsohn, who also exercised con- 
siderable influence over the succeeding gene- 
ration. Among the most interesting of his 
brethren and cotemporaries, we may mention 
his three intimate friends, Hartwig Wessely, 
Isaac Euchel, and David Friedlander. Hart- 
wig Wessely was the grandson of a certain 
Babbi Joseph, who, having escaped from the 
massacre by the Cossacks at Bar, in Fodolia, 
in 1648, came to establish himself at Amster- 
dam, and, as it appears, connected himself 
with the Portuguese synagogue of that city. 
One of his sons, named Moses, settled at 
Wesel (from which place they took the sur- 
name of Wessely), and afterwards at Gluck- 
stadt, where he established a manufactory of 
fire-arms. This was the father of the learned 
and talented Hartwig who early acquired 
several modem languages, but excdled chiefl^y 
in the knowledge of tocient Hebrew. From 
his earliest childhood he spared no pains 
either in the attainment or the diffusion of 
this branch of learning. Placed in Amster- 
dam as clerk in a house of business, he 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND HIS COTEMPOBABIES. 555 

employed his leisure hours in collecting his 
" Proverbs of the Fathers," and in composing 
his valuable work on " Hebrew Synonyms," 
now well known and highly appreciated by 
the Jews of Germany, Poland, and Italy. 
He published the first edition at his own 
expense. At Hamburgh, also, where he mar- 
ried in 1770, he passed the day in labouring 
for a subsistence, and the night at his favourite 
studies. He went to Berlin after the year 
1775, and there wrote his Hebrew translation 
of the Book of Wisdom. Soon after, he was 
for a time reduced to complete poverty by 
misfortunes in business, from which, however, 
he was shortly rescued by his literary activity, 
and the faithful kindness of his friends. It 
was at this time that he formed an intimate 
acquaintance with Mendelsohn, with whom, 
as we have before seen, he afterwards laboured 
in concert ; he also shared in the same strict 
observance of the rabbinical precepts (though 
in an entirely different spirit from that of the 
philosophers), being actuated by an enthusi- 
astic and heartfelt conviction of the binding 
authority of tradition. His good understand- 
ing with the Babbins was, nevertheless, for a 
time interrupted, because, when the Edict 
of Toleration had been promulgated by the 
B B 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



556 HOSES MENDELBOHN, 

Emperor Joseph, he published an address to 
the synagogue of Trieste, in which he urged 
the necessity of a reformation in a system of 
early instruction, by which the study of the 
Talmud should be deferred to a riper age. 
The Rabbins of Poland, in consequence, at* 
tacked and anathematized him with vehe- 
mence ; those of Trieste, Venice, Ferrara, and 
Reggio, on the contrary, supported him, de» 
daring that the opinion he had expressed was 
for the advantage of the synagogue. From 
that time forward he more than ever per- 
sisted, both in observing strictly Jewish cus- 
toms and in making strenuous efforts for the 
enlightenment and reformation of his people. 
He afterwards especially distinguished himself 
as a Hebrew poet, both by his lyrical pieces, 
his elegy on the death of Prince Leopold of 
Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, his panegyric on 
the Emperor Joseph, and his heroic poem of 
Moses, of which'only the four first parts were 
published during his lifetime. He died at 
Hamburgh, in 1808, in the eightieth year of 
his age. Hartwig Wessely may be considered 
the founder of modem Hebrew literature, in 
the same way as Mendelsohn was of German 
literature amoug the Jews of his age and 
country. 



Digitized by 



Google 



AND HIS C0TEBfFORARI£9. 657 

Isaac Euchel, who was bom in 1756, and 
ranks far higher than Mendelsohn, and eqnally 
high with Hartwig, in Oriental literature, 
was the first to undertake a translation of the 
Jewish Liturgy into German. This transla^ 
tion, though not well executed, was never* 
theless very useftd, as an eltample for others. 
Euchel wrote a translation and Commentary 
on the Proverbs of Solomon for the use of the 
Jews ; he also wrote in Hebrew a biography 
of his friend, Moses Mendelsohn. Like Hart« 
wig, this clever and talented author was 
obliged to support himself by trade till the 
time of his death, which happened in the 
fourth year of this Century. 

David Friedlander was ^ the third of those 
friends of Mendelsohn who, by their inde- 
fatigable activity and valuable wor^s, acquired 
a name among their brethren and cotempo* 
raries in Germany. He was bom at Konigs* 
burg, in 1750, and settled, in 1780, at Berlin, 
where he married a young lady of the highly 
respected &mily of Itzig, and lived in society 
with the most distinguished persons of his 
age, both Christians and Jews, without ever 
losing sight of the main object he had in 
view, viz., to seek the improvement of his 
nation by every means in his power. With 



Digitized by 



Google 



558 M08E8 MENDELSOHN. 

this view, he translated several German 
classical works into Hebrew, and several por- 
tions of the Old Testament into German. He 
also made a translation of the synagogue 
prayers in a better style than that of Eachel, 
and by the establishment of schools for the 
poor he conferred a benefit which long sur- 
vived him. 

Always active, sometimes too precipitate in 
his zeal for a true and thorough reform of the 
Judaism of his age, he wrote (in 1790) his 
^^ Letters from Jewish Householders to the 
Provost Teller," which elicited several replies 
from Christians, but mostly of the Neologian 
school. The religion of Friedlander liimself 
was far removed from any tendency to Neology. 
Though he had opposed with vigour various 
prejudices and abuses among his own people^ 
he was, nevertheless, a rigid Talmudist both 
in his doctrine and practice. No one could 
regret more than he did the reaction which 
had already begun to manifest itself, and to 
lead many of those Jews who had cast aside 
the fetters of Rabbinism into die opposite 
extreme of worldliness, frivolity, and even 
complete Infidelity. To an advanced old age 
(for Friedlander was still alive in 1828), he 
ceased not to labour in the cause of his people 



Digitized by 



Google 



CONVERSIONS AMONG THE JEWS, ETC. 559 

in the different relations in which he was 
placed, or to which he had heen called. 
Other cotemporaries of Mendelsohn among 
the German Jews deserve some mention here : 
among them were, the editors of a Hebrew 
journal, in 1783, in which Samuel and Dr. 
Michel Friedlander, both relatives of David, 
were joint labourers; Joel Lowe, afterwards 
Professor at the Jewish Wilhelm School, of 
Breslau ; Isaac Satrow ; and Jehuda Lob Ben 
Seff, known by their Hebrew grammatical 
works, and others of the same kind. Dr. 
Marcus Herz, celebrated for bis knowledge of 
medicine and natural philosophy, had already 
distinguished himself in his youth by a dissertap 
tion on speculative philosophy in imitation of 
Kant. Dr. Bloch was a naturalist, and author of 
a valuable work on ichthyology ; his specimens 
of natural history were afterwards placed in 
the museum of Berlin. Salomon Maimon, 
also a philosopher, but especially learned in 
mathematics and natural history; he was a 
decided adversary of Babbinism, and both in 
word and deed zealously advocated the intro- 
duction of a new system of instruction for 
Jewish youth. 

Conversions from the synagogue to the 
faith of the Church had occurred from time 



Digitized by 



Google 



560 C0N7EBBI0NS AMONG THE 

to time during the period between the Refor- 
mation and the commencement of the revolu- 
tionary era, though in number and [import^ 
ance they will bear no comparison with what 
we have related in the history of the Sephar- 
dim during the Middle Ages. We have 
already mentioned several remarkable con- 
versions after the expulsion of the Jews 
from Spain. It is a curious fact, that in 
the Netheriands some members of Judeo- 
Spanish families continued in secret Boman 
Catholics, in the same manner as in Spain 
many had held the Jewish religion under an 
outward conformity with the Roman Catholic 
Church. These concealed Roman Catholics 
took the earliest opportunity of returning to 
Spain, or settling in Belgium. In Italy, 
during the course of the sixteenth century, we 
find among the distinguished men of learning 
Paulo Ricci, formerly a Rabbi and physician, 
Jerome of Bologna, and Aquilino. Conver- 
sions to the Evangelical or Reformed Churches 
were most frequent in Germany, though in 
HoUand also we find some interesting ex» 
amples during the seventeenth, and especially 
the eighteenth, century. Two Israelites, Aaron 
Margalitz, and Joseph Jacob, converted to 
Christianity, caused their former coreligionists 



Digitized by 



Google 



JEWS BEFORE 1789. 561 

much trouble, by bringing forwatd an accnsa^ 
Hon of blasphemy against many of their books, 
and, among others, the Jewish Liturgy. Even 
at that time, as well as during the Middle 
Ages, the Jew, when converted to the Chris- 
tian fidth, ranged himself rather as the ad- 
versary of his former coreligionists, than in 
the spirit of the Apostle Paul. (Rom* xi. 1.) 
Among the conversions to the Gospel, of 
which the results have been most cheering, 
was (in 1695) that of the Imperial Physician, 
Paulus Werdnerus, whose public defence of 
Christianity must have brought conviction to 
many Jews. About a century later, a Rabbi, 
named Frederic Ragstadt of Weile, was bap- 
tized at Cleves in the faith of the Reformed 
Church, and his conversion and public con* 
fession of the Divine truths of Christianity 
were not less remarkable. Shortly after his 
baptism, when scarcely twenty-three years of 
age, he published a Latin apology (1671), in 
which the name of the Messiah, our Lord 
Jesus Christ, was gloriously maintained 
against the abominable Nizzochen of the 
famous Rabbi Lipmann. Weile, who was 
afterwards pastor of a Reformed Church at 
Spyk, near Gorcum, in South Holland, pub- 
lished a sermon in the language of the 
B B 3 



Digitized by 



GoOgle 



562 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

country, upon occasion of the baptism of a 
distinguished Portuguese Jew^ named Aaron 
Hodrigues Faro, in 1686. Two brothers of the 
family of Da Fonseca were soon after converts 
from the sameFortuguesecommunity of Amster- 
dam, and they also published in writing their 
reasons for a change of faith. Thus was there 
at all times an accomplishment of the word of 
St. Paul : ^^ Even so then at this present time 
also there is a remnant according to the elec- 
tion of grace." (Rom. xi. 5.) The period 
upon which we shall now enter has produced 
&r more numerous and striking instances of 
the fulfilment of this Divine declaration. 

To the Jews also, as well as to all the naticma 
of Europe, was the year 1789 the commence* 
ment of an entirely new epoch ; an epoch of 
improvement according to the views of one 
party, and of revolution and anarchy according 
to those of another, but certainly in the eyes 
of the Christian a period of striking signs and 
movements, in which he cannot fail to rec<^^ 
nise at once the hand of God, and the ap* 
proach of that day which He has foretold. In 
the period of sixty years now unfolded before 
us, the social position of the synagogue, but 
more especially its internal organization, under- 
went a more essential and significant change 



Digitized by 



Google 



i 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 663 

than any that had taken place since the first 
centuries of their dispersion after the fall of 
Jerusalem. Behold! in this new period, the 
dispersed of Israel rising to cast off their own 
ancient nationality, and desiring in all respects 
(except abandoning the religion of their am* 
cestors) to be reckoned fellow-countrymM 
with the Christian nations, and thus possess a 
country of their own without the borders of 
Palestine. The spirit of the age (under the 
guidance of Him who maketh the good and 
evil of man to work together in his service) 
effected this movement, in concert with the 
theories of the day conQeming the origin of 
society and states, the rights of men and 
citizens, the relation between sovereigns and 
their people; principles concerning which a 
combat began in the eighteenth century, and 
has continued to develop itself on all sides 
during our nineteenth century. Two of the 
great European countries are experiencing, at 
this very moment, the following out of these 
principles, and the effects of this combat in a 
different and characteristic form. France first 
gave an example of the practical application 
of these new ideas by violence, and she has 
thus diffused them both at home and abroad. 
In Germany the same principles were admitted. 



Digitized by 



Google 



^ 



564 POSITION OF t&£ JEWS 

bat not widiout some resistance; in that 
coontry eq^edally, a long struggle was pre^ 
paring between the institutions and the results 
of manjf centuries^ and the claims of one single 
century — our own. The contest between his* 
tory and revolution, between the ancient order 
of things and the new lights, concerning the 
Jews and their position in society, also began 
with the year 1789 in France. Two years 
before, the Academy of Metz had convened an 
assembly to consider the best means of making 
the Jews more useful and happier. One of 
the prize essays on that occasion was written 
by the Abb6 Gr^goire; another essay had 
been presented by a Foli^ Jew of great talent, 
named Salkind Horwitz, a successor of Fer- 
eira as Librarian of the Eojral Library at 
Faris. The revolution which shortly after 
took place triumphantly decided the question, 
as to what position in society the Jews should 
fill. The Jews of Luneville and Sarquemines 
first presented an address to the National 
Assembly, requesting to be put in possession 
of those rights which the new state of things 
had secured to them. The Fortuguese Jews 
of Bordeaux, who had already taken an active 
part in the movement in that town, also 
requested, through the intervention of 6r6- 



Digitized by 



Google 



FBOM 1789 TO 1848. 565 

goire, in behalf of themselves and brethren in 
the countries of the Rhine, an application of 
the new principles of liberty, fraternity, and 
Equality. The Jews of Lorraine sued for the 
same act of justice, not without making bitter 
complaints of the treatment they had endured 
for many centuries; they only desired the 
maintenance of their ancient synagogue, and 
a sufficient degree of judicial power to pre- 
serve it from irreligion. Those of Paris, on 
the contrary, wished for the suppression of all 
jurisdiction in the synagogue. In the year 
1791 complete equality was proclaimed for all 
Jews, without exception or distinction, who 
would accept the rights of a French citizen, 
upon condition of fulfilling the duties attached 
to them. 

The reign of Napoleon confirmed what the 
revolution had effected in favour of the Jews ; 
and the liberal party among them in France 
has always testified its gratitude to that em- 
peror. He only showed severity towards the 
Jewish' population in the provinces of the 
Rhine, where they had long been in ill repute 
on account of their usury. An Imperial edict 
was in consequence published in 1808, im- 
posing on every Jewish creditor who should 
go to law against a debtor the obligation to^ 



Digitized by 



Google 



566 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

procure a certificate of good conduct, attested 
by the local authorities, declaring that the said 
creditor was not in the practice of taking 
usury, or pursuing any disgraceful traffic 
The Imperial Government, conscious of the 
severity of a measure by which it hoped in a 
short time to do away with this abuse^ limited 
the continuance of the decree to a period of 
ten years. This law was revoked in France 
directly after the restoration of the Bourbon 
family ; in the Rhenish provinces, which were 
restored to Germany, it remained in force till 
the end of the ten years. In some of the 
provinces, such as Rhenish Bavaria and 
Rhenish Prussia, it was even continued and 
strictly enforced after that period. Napoleon, 
desiring, as we have said, to confirm what 
the Revolution of 1789 had effected for 
the Jews, convoked at Paris a large assem- 
blage (Sanhedrim, or Synedrion) of Israelites, 
distinguished either by their learning or 
their rank. His object in forming this 
association was the establishment of certain 
principles among the Jews themselves, to lay 
the foundation, both of a new internal organi- 
zation of the synagogue, and for the advance- 
ment and regulation of the new rights acquired 
by the Jews in all the different countries under 



Digitized by 



Google 



FEOM 1789 TO 1848. 667 

the dominion, or immediate influence of the Em- 
peror. It was on the 28th of July, in the year 
1806, (by a mistake, upon the Sabbath-day,) 
that the French Sanhedrim began to sit, and 
nominated as President, Abraham Furtado, a 
distmguished Portuguese, of Bordeaux. Among 
the 110 members of this Assembly, we find 
many who, in a succeeding generation, and in 
very different circumstances, have acquired a 
reputation throughout Europe; among them 
were Bodrigues, Avigdor, Cerf-Beer, Cologna, 
Cremieux Anschel, Goudchaux, and others. 
This assembly being constituted by order of 
the Emperor, three Imperial Commissioners, 
Mol6, Portalis, and Pasquier, presented them- 
selves during the sitting with twelve questions, 
to answer which was to be the first and prin- 
cipal occupation of the Sanhedrim. These 
questions related principally to the Jewish laws 
concerning marriage and polygamy — to their 
connexions with the countries in which they 
were settled, and especially with the French 
nation — to the subject of usury, both among 
the Jews themselves, and between Jews and 
Gentiles. After mature deliberation, the As- 
sembly replied — that the Jew, though by 
the law of Moses he had permission to take 
several wives, was not allowed to make use of 



Digitized by 



Google 



568 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

this liberty in the West, an obligation to take 
only one wife having been im^sed upon them in 
the year 1030, by an Assembly, over which 
Rabbi Gerson, of Worms, presided, — that no 
kind of divorce was allowed among the Jews, 
except what was authorized by the law of the 
country, and pronounced judicially, — that the 
Jews recognised not only Frenchmen, but all 
men as their brethren, vdthout making any 
difference between the Jew and him who was 
not a Jew, from whom they differed not as a 
nation, but by their religion only. With respect 
to Ftance, the Jew, who had there been 
rescued from oppression, and allowed an 
equality of social rights, looked upon that 
country as more especially his oum, of which 
he had already given manifest proof on the 
field of battle ; — ^that since the revolution no 
kind of jurisdiction in France or Italy could 
control that of the Eabbins ; — that the Jewish 
law forbade all taking of usury, either from 
strangers or their own brethren; that the 
commandment to lend to his Israelitish bro- 
ther, without interest, was a precept of charity, 
which by no means detracted from the justice, 
or the necessity of a lawful interest in matters 
of commerce ; finally, that the Jewish religion 
declared, without any distinction of persons. 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1849. 569 

that usary was disgraceful and infamous ; but 
that the use of interest in mercantile affairs, 
without reference to religion or country, was 
legal,— to lend, without interest, out of pure 
charity towards all men, was praiseworthy. 

The Imperial Government declared itself per- 
fectly satisfied with the answers of the Sanhe* 
drim. The spirit which dictated its replies is 
manifest ; for while maintaining as a principal 
point the authority of the Mosaic law, they 
gave a plausible interpretation of the Talmudic 
principle ; on the whole, it was evident that 
the decision of the Sanhedrim tended to set 
aside Jewish nationality; or, at least, to render 
it entirely subservient to the new civil and 
political rights. Since then, the relations be« 
tween the Jews of France, and the other 
inhabitants of the country, have remained 
fixed upon these new principles. A second 
Sanhedrim was meanwhile convoked by the 
Emperor in the following year of 1807, to 
which Jews from other countries, and espe- 
cially from Holland, were invited, that the 
principles laid down by the first Sanhedrim 
might acquire the force of law among the 
Jews in all parts. The second meeting, called 
the Great Sanhedrim, to which was committed 
the forming of a plan of organization for all 



Digitized by 



Google 



570 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

the synagogues in the empire, took ^ace the 
following year, under the Presidentship of 
Babbi Segre, of Vercelli. Beyond the borders 
of France, the principles set forth by the San- 
hedrim found but a faint echo, and soon met 
with positive opposition, especially in Grer- 
many and Holland.. In France the Jews have 
retained their social and political equality, 
notwithstanding the restoration of the Bour- 
bons, and the different Govelrnments which 
have since succeeded. The Jews of the so- 
called Liberal party had before long good 
reason to congratulate themselves on the con- 
sequences of these new institutions among their 
brethren and coreligionists. According to the 
statistic account given by the great Consistory 
at Paris, dated two years after the assembling of 
the Sanhedrim, out of a Jewish population of 
eighty thousand souls, there were in France one 
thousand two hundred and thirty-two landed 
proprietors, not including the owners of houses 
in towns, two thousand three hundred and 
sixty workmen, two hundred and fifty manu- 
£Eu;turers, seven hundred and ninety-seven 
military men, among whom .were officers of 
all ranks, and even as some say, Marshals 
of the empire, who were Jews, at least by 
birth. In 1830, the Minister of Public Wor- 



Digitized by 



Google 



FBOM 1789 TO 1848. 671 

ship, Merilhoa, declared, as the result of his 
experience, forty years after the emancipation 
of this before oppressed people, '^ that in the 
offices of State, under the French banner, in 
arts, sciences, and manufactures they had, 
during the quarter of a century, given ample 
refutation to the calumnies of their oppressors." 
We certainly cannot fail to acknowledge that 
the emancipation of the Jews in France was 
conducted on the most liberal scale, and car* 
ried out in the most complete manner ; but, on 
the other hand, we cannot shut our eyes to the 
fact, that, in that country, not only the nation- 
ality, but also the religious principle of the 
Jew, has been swallowed up in the feelings 
and the movements of the age. From that 
want of religion which has unhappily formed 
a sad peculiarity of France in our days, the 
Jew in that country was best able to become a 
good Frenchman, because nowhere else could 
he so entirely cast aside the recollections and 
the religion of his fathers. Yet, even at the 
present time, in France, discussions are entered 
into upon the reformation and amendment of 
the form of worship, and concerning the rela- 
tive merits of Hebrew, and the language of 
the country for the liturgy of the synagogue. 
In France, as well as Germany, theorists have 



Digitized by 



Google 



572 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

arisen, who have pretended to build upon the 
Mosaic code a new and universal i^ligion, 
fitted to take the place of Christianity.* As for 
conversions to Christianity, but few have been 
made publicly known, though doubtless the 
Church of Rome has made proselytes of more 
or less note among the Jews of France, — to 
the Protestant Church there have been but 
few. 

The revolution introduced by the French 
armies into the Republic of the Netherlands 
(1795), has also had the efiect of producing by 
degrees a complete emancipation of the Jews. 
This emancipation was received and estimated 
very differently by the Jews of Holland than 
by those of France. The great majority of 
Jewish synagogues in the Netherlands, were 
upon principle opposed to revolutionary ideas. 
We have noticed in France Portuguese Jews 
placing themselves at the head of a movement, 
to obtain for their countrymen the benefits of 
the new institutions, without exception or 
restraint. In Holland, on the contrary, with 
some few exceptions, the Jews of Spain and 
Portugal, who were lovers of monarchy and 
aristocracy upon principle, and enthusiastically 

* Of such was the learned Parisian, J. Salvador, author 
of the ** Histoire de la Domination Bomaine en Judee.** 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 573 

devoted to the House of Orange, cared not for 
a so-called emancipation, which was as little 
in accordance with their political attachment^ 
as with their religious opinions. Even the 
Jews of the German and Polish synagogues 
of Holland were little disposed to exchange 
their ancient Israelitish nationality, for the 
new nationality offered to them by the revolu- 
tion. Only a small number of individuals of 
both synagogues, by whom talent and energy 
was unquestionably displayed together with 
strong attachment to the spirit of the age, 
formed a kind of political association under 
the name of " Felix Libertate," for the ad- 
vancement of the new opinions, and the main-» 
tenance of those rights which had in conse- 
quence been granted to their coreligionists. 
This difference of political opinions gave rise 
to a schism in the synagogue. The partisans 
of the new ideas assembled separately for their 
religious worship, and founded a synagogue, 
naned Adath Jeshurun, which remained apart 
from the ancient (German) synagogue of the 
Netherlands till the reign of WilUam I. 

In the new Batavia Republic, founded in 
1795, the opinions of the republicans them- 
selves were divided concerning the political 
equality of the Jews. There were in them 



Digitized by 



Google 



674 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

many admirers of the Revolation of 1789 in 
France, and that of 1795 in Holland, who for 
all that did not cease to look upon the Chris- 
tian religion as the foundation of the state, 
and who were retained by scruples of conscience 
from wishing for a complete naturalization of 
the Jews. Such, among others, was the pastor 
and Professor Van Hametsveld, a zealous re- 
publican, but at the same time, a Protestant by 
conviction, and a friend of Israel for theGospel's 
sake, looking for the national conversion of 
the nation and their return to the land of their 
Others. With these feelings, he gave his 
opinion against conceding to the Jews a right 
to vote in the National Assembly of the year 
1796. The contrary opinion, however, sup- 
ported by the citizen (afterwards Great Pen- 
sionary) Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck, tri- 
umphed in the Assembly ; and soon after, several 
Jewish members were admitted to the munici- 
pality and the tribunal of Amsterdam, as well 
as to the National Assembly at the Hague. 
Under the Government, first of Louis Napoleon, 
and then of the House of Orange, the Jews of 
Holland became reconciled by degrees to their 
new political rights. We have seen, however, 
that no great sympathy was felt in Holland 
with the Sanhedrim of Paris, to which the 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 675 

Portuguese synagogue had never deputed any of 
its members. Only the synagogue of Adath 
Jeshurun sent three deputies ; Charles Asser, 
distinguished as a lawyer even after the restorap 
tion of the House of Orange ; the physician 
De Lemon, who was subsequently (in 1813) 
confined in the castle of Ham, on account of 
a supposed conspiracy against the Imperial 
Government; and an eminent Polish mathe^ 
matician, resident at Amsterdam, of the name 
of littwak. 

At the return of the House of Orange to 
Holland, and under the different constitutions 
of 1813, 1816, 1840, 1848, the principle of 
absolute equality among all the inhabitants in 
the sight of the law, and, therefore, of the 
followers of Moses, also remained imaltered. 
Consequently, we find to this day Jews here 
and there holding public situations as governors 
of towns, members of the judicial body, and 
of the National Representative Assembly. 
While, on one side, the unheard of prosperity of 
the Portuguese Jews has almost entirely dis- 
appeared in Holland, the new political position 
of the Israelites has given rise to a rapid pro- 
gress, — not, howef er, yet to be compared with 
that of France and Germany during the last 
five-and-twenty years, but of which the reality 



Digitized by 



Google 



576 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

is eyinced by the many that have attained cele- 
brity, principally among those who belong to 
what are now cdled the Dutch Jews (formerly 
German). This synagogue produced, among 
others, a man, who, soon after the Bevolution 
of 1795, gained great repute for legal science ; 
we mean Dr. Jonas Daniel Meyer, author of 
the *^ Institutions Judiciaires des principaux 
Pays de TEurope," who died in 1808. The 
same synagogue may also boast among its phy- 
sicians the Dr. Heilbron, author of several 
prize works, and Dr. Davids, known by his 
zealous efforts to introduce vaccination. 

In Belgium, the equality of all religions, 
including that of the Jews, in the sight of the 
law, has been maintained since the first intro- 
duction of the principle, towards the close of 
the preceding century, till after the separation 
of that country from Holland (1830-39), 
thenceforward to the present time. 

The new political position of the Jews in 
Europe, though constituting a fresh epoch in 
history, could not entirely break down the 
ancient barrier between the Jewish and Chris- 
tian population. This barrier had a far deeper 
foundation than any purely human legislation* 
It rests upon so wide a difference of religion, 
that even absolute indifference on that point 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 677 

has not been able entirely to break through it. 
It rests, also, on an essential difference of race 
and origin, — a difference which, even in these 
levelling days, is, nevertheless, in many ways 
clearly apparent. This, then, is the reason why 
the Christian, resting upon the Word of God, 
does not look for the disappearance of this 
"middle-wall of partition," or for the amalgama* 
tion of Israel with the nations, but for the union 
of these two distinct portions of mankind in the 
&ith and under the dominion of Christ. Human 
law, the law of the revolutions of this century, 
may undoubtedly command and effect a degree 
of equalization; but historical traditions do 
not everywhere give way so rapidly and so 
entirely, as we have seen, at least apparently^ 
in France. In Germany, for example, the 
entire emancipation of the Jews, which in 
France had been established, as it were, in a 
moment, had to struggle for more than thirty 
years before; even in connexion with the events 
of 1848, it could secure a triumph, — perhaps 
soon again to experience a reaction. We will 
now cast a glance over the history of this 
struggle, as bearing on the great question of 
Jewish emancipation in Germany. 

Already, before the Revolution of 1789, 
we have noticed the measures taken by the 

c 



Digitized by 



Google 



578 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

principal states of Germany to secure to tiie 
Jews some rights, and to amend their con- 
dition. What the Emperor Joseph II. under- 
took in his Austrian dominions, was carried oat 
with far more beneficial results in Prussia by 
King Frederic William U., in 1787. The 
French Revolution, and the influence of the 
French Imperial Government, considerably 
aided the cause of the Jews throughout great 
part of Germany, especially in Westphalia, 
with its capital, FrankfortK>n»the-Maine, and 
in Prussia. The reign of King Frederic Wil- 
liam III. assured to the Jews, by the edict 
published March 11, 1812, the right and title 
of Prussian citizens, with some conditions and 
restrictions. 

When, with regard to the Jewish history of 
this period, we speak of social and political 
rights, we must, in Germany especially, care- 
fully discriminate between the concession of 
such rights, and what is understood by full and 
complete emancipation. Until the year 1848, 
the political rights granted to the Jews were 
always so much restricted by exceptions and 
provisional regulations, that the ancient exclu- 
sion might well be said to be modified, though 
it still continued to form a part of the consti- 
tution. On this account, the Radical Jews, 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 679 

especially during the last twenty years, have 
desired a complete" emancipation. From the 
year 1813 to 1836, and again from that time 
to the present day, we may notice the equal 
advance made by this question of emancipation 
with the history of revolutionary principle in 
general. During this interval of thirty-five 
years, we may clearly distinguish two opposing 
periods ; the period of reaction from the ideas 
of the Revolution during the reign of Napoleon 
(an epoch which reached its culminating 
point in 1820) ; and the period of revival for 
all revolutionary principles in 1830, of which 
we are still, in 1848-9, observing the subse- 
quent spread throughout Europe. 

The statesmen who, in 1814-15, undertook 
to reorganize Germany after the fell of the 
empire of Napoleon, laid it down as a first 
principle^ that they must not disturb the 
existing order of things, the state in which 
affairs then stood being the result of the events 
which had occurred during the last forty years. 
The sixteenth article of the federal Act of the 
Germanic states, published on the 8th of 
June, 1815, imposed upon the Diet an obliga* 
tion to take the necessary measures for ad- 
vancing the social improvement of the Jews, 
and to obtain for, and secure to them, the 
c c 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



680 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

enjoyment of all civil rights, on condition of 
their fulfilling the duties connected with them. 
It is not astonishing that the execution of this 
project, met with great obstacles on all sides. 
The Jews themselves did not, everywhere, 
appear prepared for the exercise of the rights 
and duties which their new position entailed. 
The prejudices of the Christian population 
against the nation (at once ancient and yet 
new) were deeply rooted. Lastly, the thirty- 
eight states of the Germanic body were, in 
many respects, very differently constituted 
from one another; their feelings and their 
former legislation for the Jews frequently pre^ 
sented a striking contrast. Great, for ex- 
ample, was the difference between the social 
position and the moral development of the 
Jews, in the Grand Duchies of Baden and 
Hesse, contrasted with their state in Hanover, 
where, to use the words of a historian, they 
were rather under the charge of the police 
than under that of the Government. When 
to this is added the various systems which 
sometimes obtained in the same Germanic 
state, according to the personal views of suc- 
cessive princes and ministers, it may be easily 
understood that the principle of equality of 
rights for the Jews encountered in Germany, 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 581 

for more than thirty yeats, difficulties, to which 
only suchi a crisis as that of the year 1848 
could possibly have put a term. 

It was not merely in the monarchical states 
of Germany that a reaction against the rights 
acquired by the Jews during the revolution 
first manifested itself, for as early as 1814-15 
the free towns of Frankfort, Lubeck, and 
Bremen, took measures to restrict and revoke 
the rights and privileges of their Jewish in* 
habitants* The Congress of Vienna, being 
informed of these encroachments on an ac* 
quired right, earnestly recommended the 
magistrates of the said towns by rescript to 
maintain intact the rights of all citizens. 
The two great Ministers, Prince Metternich 
on the part of Austria, and Prince Harden- 
berg on the part of Prussia, wrote to the free 
towns in the same-strain^ As to Metternich^ 
who has since been reproached, with more or 
less justice, as the advocate of a political 
system of immutability, it is certain that, with 
respect to the Jews, he did not approve of the 
reaction, nor did he ever appear inimical to 
the Israelites as a people. Generally, and 
especially in Germany, this enmity is found 
to increase as we descend in the scale of 
society. As to Governments, they were, per- 



Digitized by 



Google 



582 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

f 

haps, negligent, and comparatively even un- 
just, to the rights and petitions of the Jews 
in the interval between 1815 and 1848 ; but 
it cannot be denied that the Jewish com- 
munities owe great obligations to the measures 
and enactments of the same Grovemments, 
chiefly for their intellectual and scientific 
development. The severe studies imposed by 
the Government of Prussia, previous to ad- 
mission into the Rabbinate, produced a great 
number of theologians, who are now emi- 
nently distinguished for their learning and 
refinement. 

The first attacks against the Jews, at the 
epoch which I have particularized as that of 
the reaction, came from the bosom of the 
people, from the pens of the literary and the 
learned. Irritated by recalling what this 
nation had been, what it was, and what it 
appeared likely to be in the future, they 
loaded them with accusations, insults, and 
especially ridicule, to which their new social 
position but too often exposed them. Hatred 
and satire were redoubled when the Jews 
betrayed their sensibility to them ; for example, 
when Israel Jacobson (who, under Jerome 
Napoleon, in Westphalia, had laboured ear- 
nestly for the improvement of his core- 



Digitized by 



Google 



PROM 1789 TO 1848. 583 

ligionists,) prevailed on the Government to 
prohibit a drama in which the Jews were 
covered with ridicule. 

At the same time, the battle for Jewish 
emancipation was fought more seriously with 
the arms of political science, against the maxd* 
fest desire that was felt to oppose the execu- 
tion of the sixteenth article of the Treaty of 
Federation. The professor, Frederick Eiihs^ 
openly declared in a pamphlet his opinion 
that. the admission of Jews to civil rights in 
Germany would be pernicious, in considera*' 
tion of their existence as a nation, of the 
inherent and deeply*rooted vices of their cha- 
racters, and of the very nature of their 
religion. -Riihs, consequently, proposed to 
ensure to them only the protection of the 
State in the same manner as to foreigners. 
Fries, in his critique in "The Annals of 
Heidelberg'* on the professor^s pamphlet^ 
went still farther, and deduced their perversity 
and stupidity from their &ther, Abraham* 
He enunciated as a principle the complete 
destruction of Judaism; that is to say, (ex« 
cepting that he would have spared individual 
life,) he advocated the reproduction of those 
enactments of the Middle Ages which tended 
to purge Christendom of its Jewish population. 



Digitized by 



Google 



584 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

In the absence of such measures, he foretold 
that, in less than forty years, all Christians 
would be in a state of dependance on the 
Jews. In a like spirit, though, if possible, 
more violently, one Frederick, of Frankfort, 
published his opinion in an anonymous 
pamphlet. Many voices then arose in defence 
of the Jews ; among themselves, Z^mmeru, of 
Heidelberg, and Herz, of Frankfort; and 
among the Christians, Johan Ludwig Ewald 
de Carlsruhe and August Kramer, of Ratisbon. 
The Jewish historians themselves have re- 
marked, that few or none of the Christian 
clergy took any part in these inimical attacks on 
Israel. The time for such men as Rector 
Schudt was no more. But while even some 
members of the Roman Catholic priesthood 
stood up in defence of the unfortunate Jews, a 
reformed rationalist theologian distinguished 
himself as the bitterest opponent of the ad- 
mission of the Jews to any civil rights. The 
Professor Paulus, of Heidelberg, well known 
from the antiquated absurdities of his ** Exi- 
gesis," in a pamphlet which he published in 
1817, declared his opinions to the above effect. 
He desired the entire exclusion of the Jews, 
as such, from every political right, with the 
sole exception of such individuals as could 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 685 

bring proof by witness, or otber legal testi- 
mony, of personal capacity and worth. When, 
fourteen years later, in the discussion of this 
question, he stood forth as champion against 
the Jews, he encountered more formidable ad«> 
versaries among the Israelites themselves than 
heretofore. These wereMn Kreisenach, who un- 
dertook to reply to him, andDr.Riesser, who fot 
many years had warmly advocated the emanci« 
pation of his brethren, and who became, in 
1848, a member of the Germanic Diet at 
Frankfort, which has since been annihilated. 
It was thus, during the period of reaction^ 
from 1816 — 1830, the question concerning 
the emancipation of the Jews had considerably 
retrograded. Their exclusion from all magis** 
tracies, from any rank above that of a sub- 
altern in the army, from all professorships, 
&c., was the order of the day in the greater 
part of the German states* In some places 
they went even further. At Lubeck, as early 
as 1816, they had already concocted the design 
of no longer permitting the Jews to remain 
within the limits of their territory. This plan, 
as far as the precincts of the city were con- 
cerned, was carried into effect in 1819. In 
other places the excesses of the Middle Ages 
seemed likely to revive among the populace, 
c c 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



586 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

In some parts the old death^cry of "Hep! 
Hep ! '' * arose ; the houses and possessions of 
the Jews were pillaged and demolished, as in 
Hamburg, where a similar outrage was re» 
peated as lately as the year 1835. 

But in the year 1830, fresh revolutionary 
movements arose in France, which spread 
afterwards over Europe, and influenced Ger- 
many more especially. The old tendency to 
a union of the German states, under an Impe- 
rial Government, which should be surrounded 
by revolutionary institutions, again revived. At 
this time a second, and even a third generation 
of the liberal Jews had arisen. Amongst them 
especially, the ideas of 1815 had developed 
themselves with an energy hitherto unknown. 
They were no longer the same men who in the 
beginning of the nineteenth century had felt 
themselves almost encumbered by their re- 
cently acquired rights, and who had been pre- 
vented making good their pretensions in the 
field of politics by the various prejudices of 
Jews and Christians. Now, on the contrary, 
united with " Young Germany" in a system of 

* A crj, the origin and signification of which are still 
uncertain. Some have explained it to be the initials of 
the three ifords, Bierasoiyma esiperdUa. 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 687 

radical liberty, the new Judaism no longer 
enforced its claims to a complete emancipation 
on any other grounds than that of its forming 
an integral part, and a necessary consequence, 
of the universal change in the order of things. 
Those who were now, for the emancipation, 
maintained that, if hitherto all efforts to orga* 
nize for the Jews a limited and conditional 
equality in the states of Germany had failed, 
it was precisely on account of this limitation 
and these conditions that it had fallen to the 
ground. Then only could the Jewish nation 
fulfil its duty to Germany, and Germany be 
what it should be to its Jewish and Christian 
inhabitants, when, without any reserve or re* 
striction whatever, liberty and equality should 
be equally insured to all. 

In this question, which has been since then 
discussed by the press, in the cabinets of kings, 
and in the different assemblies in the states 
of Germany, opinion was divided into three 
distinct parties or views, — the Conservative 
party, the Historical school, and the Revo* 
lutionary' party. The Conservative party, on 
this question, as on all others, would have 
preserved, at all idsks, the existing 6rder of 
things. The Historical school took history, 
and established right as a basis, and starting 



Digitized by 



Google 



538 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

from this point, strove to obtaiitin a Christian 
and anti-revolutionary spirit such progress, 
improvements, and amendments as were suit- 
able to the necessities cf the age. Lastly, 
the Revolutionary party, indifferent to all 
rights, caring not for the history of the past, 
disregarding religion and revelation, especially 
as connected with social institutions, desired 
the reformation of society and of Judaism, even 
though it should entail the entire submersion 
of the present state of things. 

Such a submersion in particular, with re* 
spect to Judaism, was the favourite project of 
Bruno Bauer, famous for having supported the 
system of the equally celebrated David Fre- 
derick Strauss^ In 1842, Bauer, who resem- 
bled such men as Voltaire and Fries in his 
unbelieving and infidel hatred, declared he 
wished not for the emancipation of the Jews, 
but for their entire destruction and extinction in 
a new race of pantheistical humanity. Against 
these absurd and impious theories, many 
champions appeared amongst the Jews, partly 
to defend their nation against the contempt 
which the implacable enemy of both Jews and 
Christians cast upon it, partly to expose his 
numerous errors and follies with respect to 
their rights, history, and all their social rela- 



Digitized by 



Google 



FEOM 1789 TO 1848. 689 

tions. Bat, while learned Israelites, such as 
Dr. Philippson, Hirsh, Holdheim, Freund, and 
Salomon, opposed the weight of their yarious 
opinions to Bauer, there were some Jews 
who took part in his pantheistical radicalism. 
Jews who had long been weary of the religion 
of their fathers were glad to shake off the 
remembrance of their birth, and to discard the 
remains of their former religious ideas. It was 
in virtue of such a principle, as it appears, 
that the celebrated Ludwig Borne, who died 
in 1832, left the Judaism in which he was 
bom, and which he had defended, in the year 
1819, against unworthy persecution with 
equal spirit and energy. He submitted to 
baptism not as an open profession of Christi*- 
anity, but as a means of doing away with all 
religious differences among the inhabitants of 
the German states. About the sanie period 
lived and wrote one of the most gifted of the 
women of Germany, the celebrated Bahel, the 
wife of the Baron of Varnhagen. It was she 
who, in the bitterness of her heart at the con^ 
tempt with which her nation was treated by 
all other nations, declared one day, in the 
midst of the brilliant and pantheistical circle 
to which she belonged, that she submitted to 
her fate in having been bom a Jewess in the 



Digitized by 



Google 



590 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

0ame spirit that one submits to an illness, or 
resigns oneself to a misfortune. 

As to the school or system called '^ the His- 
toric," we must observe, that even those Jews* 
who were enthusiastic in their desire for 
emancipation did justice to the stability of this 
Christian party. What, in fact, could exhibit 
more true consistency in the Christian man 
than his unwillingness either to co-operate in 
the extinction of the ancient nationality of 
the Jews, or, on the other hand, to commit 
legislative and judicial powers in a Christian 
state to men who were by profession adver- 
saries of Christianity? It was in this spirit of 
the Historical school that the King of Prussia 
declared himself, in the year 1847, when, after 
the great National Assembly for that year, in 
which the emancipation of the Jews was dis- 
cussed and rgected, he published his edict of 
the 23rd of July. This edict, similarly to 
that of 1812, secured to his Jewish subjects 
throughout the kingdom an equality of rights 
and duties, with some important exceptions, 
founded especially upon the incompatibility of 
their emancipation, or absolute equality with 
the well-being of a Christian state. 

* Jost, Keuere Geschichte der Israeliteii. fireten Ab« 
theUang.— P. 44. 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 591 

Th^ events which soon followed are yet 
recent in the memory of all. The shock 
endured and communicated by France on the 
24th February, 1848, caused, in Germany, 
the explosion of those designs, theories, and 
conspiracies which had been long before pre- 
pared. It is known that the emancipation of 
the Jews was effected, in its fiiU extent, by 
the revolutionary principle, simultaneously 
with the entire dissolution, if we may so 
express it, of ancient Germany, The great 
part taken by the liberal Jews of all kinds in 
the recent changes and movements in Bohemia 
and Hungary is also well known. Many of 
the most decidedly Radical and revolutionary 
newspapers were edited by Jews both in 
Prussia and Austria. Many Israelites holding 
ultra-radical views sat in the German Diet at 
Frankfort, and in that of Prussia at Berlin. 
Among the deputies to Frankfort were, 
besides Dr. Riesser, whom we have already 
mentioned. Dr. Veit, Cohen, Hartmann, Ka^ 
randa of Prague, and other Israelites. One 
of the most violent members of the Left in the 
Prussian Chamber, after the events of 1848, 
was Jacobi, also a Jew. Dr. Jellinck, who, 
with Dr. Becher, was shot at Vienna on the 
20thof November, wasdescended from the same 



Digitized by 



Google 



592 POSITION OF THE J£W6 

nation which, under so many different dispen- 
sations, has ,so often obstinately mistaken its 
path of duty. 

It is not only among the journalists and tihie 
. radical politicians of the time that we meet 
with new symptoms of life and energy among 
the Jews. We cannot disallow that during 
the thirty years' crisis which we have just 
sketched, great talents and extensive resources 
of the most varied and opposite tendency have 
been displayed by Israelites in the different 
departments of European civilization* It is 
no longer exclusively in a financial capacity 
that the Jews of the present day have earned 
distinction. They have almost everywhere, 
in these times, earned fame in positions and 
vocations from which for many centuries they 
had been debarred. In Germany and ia 
Poland, as well as in France, since the changes 
of 1789, the Israelite has proved his capacity 
for the profession of arms, and has frequently 
maintained the honour of his warlike descent 
from his ancestors of Palestine. Already, 
towards the close of the preceding century, a 
body of Jewish volunteers had been formed 
under the banner of Koscinzko, whose chief^ 
Berek, after having earned many marks of 
honour in the war of independence, lost bis 



Digitized by 



Google 



FKOM 1789 TO 1848. 593 

life in battle.. During the war for German 
liberty, from 1813—1815, not less than 1,700 
Israelites fought in the service of Austria 
alone. Thirty-five officers of that nation fell 
gloriously on the field of Waterloo, and great 
were also the services rendered by Jewish 
physicians and surgeons on this occasion. It 
was so much the more made a matter of corn* 
plaint afterwards by the German Jews, against 
the system of reaction, that they were either 
entirely excluded from military service, or, as 
we have already said, confined to the rank of 
subalterns. Meanwhile, great was the pro-> 
gress made by them in Germany in the paths 
of science and literature. In medicine, astro- 
nomy, and mathematics, they equalled and, in 
proportion to the progress of science during so 
many centuries, surpassed the great models of 
their nation in Spain during the Middle Ages. 
Doctors and professors who are by descent, by 
birth, and even by actual profession, Israelites, 
have during the last thirty years excelled in 
every branch of knowledge* Rabbinical theo- 
logy, in consequence of the severe studies 
exacted by the Government, assumed from 
that period a scientific character. The Arabic, 
as well as the Hebraic and Chaldaic languages 
and literature, have been cultivated by the 



Digitized by 



Google 



594 POSITION OF THE XEWS 

German Jews witih success and celebrity. 
Nomeroos poets have arisen, who have fol- 
lowed Hartwig in enriching modem Hebrew 
poetry by their remarkable prodactions. Bat 
also in the language of Goethe and Schiller, 
many Israelites in Germany have spoken with 
the voice of talent in poetry and prose. In 
the art of Haydn and of Mozart, of Beethoven 
and of Weber, they fill the highest ranks; 
nor have painters been wanting among them 
during the period we are reviewing. In a 
word, the Israelites of the dispersion have for 
the last two generations presented an entirely 
new phase of esiistence in Germany. 

And now, what does the Christian think, — 
how does he feel when he contemplates this 
novel and complete change in the destiny of 
Israel ^ The Christian, attached to the Gospel 
of Christ, who believes alike in the judgments 
and promises of God with respect to the de- 
scendants of Abraham, cannot but experience 
a mixed feeling. He will certainly be inte- 
rested in all that in Israel is characteristic of 
the dawning of regeneration ; but at the same 
time, how shall he not be moved with grief, 
whenever he beholds the talents and the 
efforts of the Israelite of the present day 
employed to attack and undermine religion 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 695 

and social order, employed in the destruction 
at once of Judaism and Christianity, in the 
service, to sum up all, of infidelity and rebel- 
lion ! But yet he will not pause at these first 
and transient results. Beyond all the horror 
of these phenomena he sees the advent of a 
period when these same renewed efforts and 
these same talents will be consecrated to the 
service of the Gospel, which was formerly to 
them a " stumbling-block," and which is now 
to them more than ever ''foolishness," but 
which, nevertheless, in our days has become 
unto several among them *' the power of God 
unto salvation.'' In this way the heart of the 
Christian may rejoice in hope at aU these 
different movements giving proof of life and 
progress, considering them to be the '' shaking 
of the bones," which, according to the Prophet 
Ezekiel (chap, xxxvii. 7) should precede the 
resurrection of Israel. 

Let us pause for a moment, to consider the 
influence of the movements of which we have 
just spoken on Judaism as a religion, and on 
its ancient strongholds. We have already 
more than once remarked, that not only the 
nationality but also the religion of the Jews 
languishes and declines in the same proportion 
in which real or even pseudo-civilization 



Digitized by 



Google 



596 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

spreads amongst them^ or in the world in 
general. The doctrines of Pharisaic Judaism 
have not, it is true, entirely disappeared in 
the synagogues; the institutions of their an- 
cestors find sectaries and defenders not merely 
among the vulgar, but even in the body of 
learned and scientific Rabbins. The old idea 
of a personal advent is stiU cherished by many 
in the bosom of the synagogue ; nevertheless, 
it is an incontestable fact that the Talmud is 
losing its authority from day to day, and that, 
in these latter times, it is more esteemed for 
the light it throws on the history, language^ 
and laws of the past, than as a code of Divine 
authority for the dispersed children of Israel. 
Meanwhile the tendency is becoming more 
and more general to replace all that was 
peculiar to the religious worship of the 
Hebrews, by ceremonies and usages borrowed 
from the Christians. For example, in 1814, 
for the first time, a sermon was preached in 
the German language, in the synagogue at 
Vienna. At Berlin, also, the banker Jacob- 
son lent his efforts to found a Jewish worship 
of a completely modem form. The example 
was soon followed at Hamburg, where the 
service was managed by Drs. Kley and Salo- 
mon, who preached in German, and by the 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 697 

additional innovation of an organ altered the 
old forms. The change was naturally not 
merely an exterior one. The spirit of the age 
affected the essentials of the Jewish religion, 
in a way that had been foretold and feared by 
the first authors of the new civilization, such 
as Friedlander and his friends. Deism and 
Bationalism followed in the synagogue nearly 
the same course as in the Christian Churches 
and schools. In the synagogue as in the 
Church all that was national and Israelitish, 
all that was supernatural and beyond the 
reach of unassisted human reason, was furiously 
attacked and rejected. In Bavaria, as well as 
in other places, Neology in the synagogue 
gave rise to so much uneasiness that the 
Government believed itself justified in inter- 
fering, in 1888-39, by decrees to the following 
effect, — that no one should be eligible to the 
Babbinate, excepting the followers of the 
ancient religion of Moses, in contradistinction 
to modem Judaism. Soon after, the reigning 
spirit of Neology made such rapid progress 
that a refarmatiofij according to the ideas of 
the age, meant nothing less than an entire 
d^oUtion. This idea, in spite of the false pro* 
testations of not wishing the destruction but 
merely the reparation of the edifice, was pretty 



Digitized by 



Google 



598 POSITIOK OP THE JEWS 

openly proclaimed in a circular by Dr. Gold- 
Schmidt, at Frankfort, in 1843, in which is 
found the following declaration (a declaration 
which bears some resemblance to the cry of 
the Israelites in the day of the crucifixion of 
Jesus): — " We neither look for nor desire a 
Messiah who shall lead the Israelites back to 
Palestine; we know no other country than 
that of our birth, to which we politically 
belong.'* In another assembly of Jewish 
reformers of this stamp, it was said that the 
idea of a Messiah was still cherished, not as a 
personage whose advent was desirable fi>r, and 
of importance to, Israel, but only as a figure of 
speech, expressive of the progress of the whole 
human race. Still later, they proposed, as a 
means of preparation fw the fusion of Judaism 
and Christianity, henceforth to set apart San- 
day instead of the Sabbath. In return for 
this concession, Wislicenus, the minister of 
the feunous " Friends of Light," in Germany, 
in one of their meetings, in answer to the 
Israelite Benfey, declared such Jews as should 
wish to become members of their religious 
society exempted from the necessity of being 
baptized. 

While thud Mosaic as well as Talmudic 
Judaism seemed on the verge of extinction in 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 599 

a philosophical and social pantheism, God, 
who in all times causes even the wickedness 
of man to avail in forwarding his Divine 
purposes, made use in our day of this increased 
communication hetween Jews and Christians, 
to lead several of his ancient people to the 
knowledge and confession of the Gospel, and 
to assemble here and there the first-fruits of 
this great harvest, of which the season is 
approaching amidst the manifold signs of the 
times. Those who have gone over to the 
Protestant Churches from the synagogue have 
been more numerous during these few last 
years in Germany than they ever were else* 
where or before. Amongst a multitude of 
Israelites who have doubtless been led by very 
different views to receive baptism, a remark* 
able number have distinguished themselves by 
the sincerity of their profession, having de* 
voted the talents received from God either to 
the preaching of his Word far and near, or to 
Christian science in the different walks of 
education, and other social duties. The num- 
ber of Jews baptized in Germany during the 
last twenty years is estimated at five thousand. 
We have rapidly retraced the movements 
connected with Israel in France, the Nether- 
lands, and Germany. During this period the 



Digitized by 



Google 



600 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

cause of the absolute political emancipation 
of the Jews was also progressing in Great 
Britain. In this kingdom the spirit of the 
age walks with less hasty but more sure and 
certain steps. Liberal ideas and institutions, 
using the word indifferently in its good and 
evil sense, have extended their influence in 
England as well as on the Continent; not 
indeed by sudden revolutions, but by means of 
lawful measures, tending to the- same end, 
which, though conceded by the upper to the 
lower classes, are often forced as matters of 
necessity on the Government of the country 
and on the Houses of Parliament by the con- 
tinuous action of public opinion. As to the 
great question of the political rights of the 
Jews in England, their more limited number 
and smaller scientific influence in this country, 
compared with the same in Germany, has 
perhaps given a more or less peculiar character 
to the progress of their emancipation in the 
three kingdoms. Nevertheless, in the decision 
of this question England has only just stopped 
short of the repeal of its ancient laws and 
usages relative to Israel. The Jews, already 
in possession of the right of voting, and 
eligible for the duties of the municipal magis- 
tracy (having in our time served as aldermen). 



Digitized by 



Google 



FEOM 1789 TO 1848- 601 

are still, however, at this present moment, 
excluded from a seat in Parliament, hut the 
election of the Baron Lionel Bothschild has 
led to the proposal of a law hy Lord John 
Bussell, Prime Minister, to change the form 
of the oath. This bill, passed by the House 
of Commons, but thrown out by a majority in 
the House of Lords, will probably, sooner or 
later, again be brought forward and passed, 
from the influence of public opinion, as 
displayed by the recent re-election of the 
Israelitish Baron. Here again the Christian, 
doubtless, from his reverence for the religious 
institutions of the State, from the value also 
which he attaches to the distinct nationality 
of the Jews, cannot fail to oppose and raise 
his voice against such a measure ; but, at the 
same time, when it shall have passed into a 
law, he will be resigned, and will even rejoice. 
He will see the unfolding of the purposes of 
God, that, even in that separation of Church 
and State which seems on all sides hanging 
over the Christian world, and which forms but 
a part of the great process of dissolution, soon 
to be followed by an entirely new state of 
things, under a new dispensation, in the king- 
dom of God. It is thus that even the political 
emancipation of the Jews becomes, when con- 

D D 



Digitized by 



Google 



602 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

nected with the other signs of the times, in 
itself a positive mark that '^old things" are 
passing away, and that *^new things" are 
about to appear, although in a very different 
sense to that in which the spirit of the age 
rejoices. Of England we must also observe, 
in conclusion, that the propagatioa of an irre* 
ligious liberality on the one hand is there 
accompanied on the other by a remarkable 
spread of the Gospel amongst the seed of 
Abraham, to whom it is diligently made 
known. In Great Britain, as in Germany, 
Jews who have received baptism are numerous; 
amongst them are several labourers for Christ, 
ministers as well as missionaries. Alexander, 
the first Protestant Bishop of Jerusalem, 
established there by the co-operation of the 
Sovereigns of England and Prussia, was an 
Israelite, a native of Germany, and for a long 
time one of the Professors of an English 
university. 

We must now glance at the condition of 
the Jews in the principal remaining European 
countries — Protestant and Roman Catholic, 
Greek and Mahomedan. Among the last 
mentioned we shall find, even in Asia, that 
the effects of the movement of the latter days 
are sensibly visible in the position of the JewSj 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 603 

although there it has been less rapid and 
vigorous. 

In Sweden and in Norway, the movement, 
considered in relation to the Israelites, would 
not appear less remarkable than in Germany, 
France, or England, if their number in these 
kingdoms, united under the sceptre of Oscar, 
had not been so limited. In a population of 
four millions there are but eight hundred and 
fifty Jews, and yet in favour of these few 
Israelites, in 1848, at Stockholm, they dis- 
cussed the propriety of introducing a bill of 
emancipation. Some time before, a popular 
poet of Norway, named Wergeland, had de- 
voted his whole life to procure the abrogation 
of the ancient law, according to which no Jew 
could settle in the country without the express 
permission of the King. The Jewish com- 
munity in the capital of Sweden has expressed 
its gratitude for this benevolent zeal, by the 
erection of a monument in honour of the poet, 
cast in the foundry of an Israelite aft;er the 
model of an artist of the same race. In Den- 
mark, where (from 1738) the German and 
Portuguese Jews had already obtained a con<- 
siderable augmentation of their privileges, a 
royal edict of the 29th of May, 1814, contri- 
buted much to the amelioration of their social 
D D 2 



Digitized by 



Google 



604 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

position and internal administration of their 
synagogues; this principally in the spirit of 
the Jewish-German Reformation of modem 
times, — their ahsolute emancipation has not, 
up to the present day, heen achieved in any 
of the Scandinavian countries. 

In Roman Catholic lands, in the same 
manner as in French and German territories, 
these latter days have brought about several 
remarkable changes in . the relations of the 
Jews to governments, legislation, and popu- 
lace. Already, before the year 1848, Pope 
Pius IX. set an example of liberality, by his 
regulations in favour of the Jewish subjects of 
the Church. The Ghetto of the Jews at Rome 
was solemnly opened in the evening of the 
17th of April, 1847, as if to proclaim the 
principle that henceforth the wall of separa- 
tion between the Jewish quarter and the city 
of Rome was thrown down. A similar open- 
ing of the Ghetto had already taken place in 
the time of the first French revolution, and 
under the Empire ; but after the restoration of 
the Bourbon dynasty and system, in 1814-15, 
the Jews had signally lost ground. As 
formerly, so again, four elders of the syna- 
gogue were obliged humbly and solemnly to 
supplicate the Pope annually in public, to 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 605 

grant tliem permission as a nation to reside in 
the capital of the Roman Catholic world. 
Pius IX. put an end to this state of things by 
a toleration which, some say, was so compre- 
hensive, that, in re-establishing the ancient 
Order of Virtue and Merit instituted by 
Pius IV,, he actually substituted a star for 
the cross formerly worn. The same year 
Charles Albert also conceded, from his head^ 
quarters at Voghera, full political rights to 
his Jewish subjects. Even the Duke of Mo- 
dena permitted, in his states, the first publica- 
tion of a monthly periodical by the Jews. 
We have already remarked, on a previous 
occasion, on the position of the Israelites 
relative to the governments of Spain and 
Portugal, we shaU now only subjoin a curious 
fact, that in Spain, where the laws do not yet 
openly sanction the residence of the exiles of 
1492, the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella 
the Catholic has been presented to a German 
Jew, a banker ; while in Portugal, an English 
baronet, also by birth and religion a German 
Jew, possesses a noble estate, and bears the 
tide attached to it. 

In Sclavonic countries, where Boman Cap 
tholicism prevails, as well as in Russia, where 
the Greek Church is supreme, the social con- 



Digitized by 



Google 



606 PbSITION OF THE JEWS 

dition of the Jews varies with the locality; 
In Poland their political and religions ten* 
dency is somewhat of a conservative character, 
(worldly interests having effected this bias,) 
although since Koscinzko there have not 
been wanting among them warm partisans of 
Polish independence. We may add, that in 
all that is, or rather was, Polish territory, the 
Jewish population is extremely numerous. 
In Cracow there is one Israelite to every 
eleven inhabitants. Russia, since the acoes* 
sion of its Polish provinces, numbers not less 
than 1,120,000 Jews amongst its sixty-three 
millions, a proportion nearly equal to that of 
the Netherlands. The treatment experienced 
by the Jews is naturally less oppressive in the 
Polish provinces than in the Moscovite part 
The system of the reigning Czar appears to 
bear a great, but not altogether wonderful, 
resemblance to that of the German Radicals, 
whose plan is not to receive the Jews into the 
national existence of the body of the people, 
but to absorb them, in extinguishing their 
nationality by means resembling those adopted 
in the Middle Ages by Ferdinand and Isabella 
of Spain. It is well known that the universal 
principle of the Russian Government tends to 
unite all its subjects, not merely under a 



Digitized by 



Google 



TROM 1789 TO 1848. 607 

secular sway, but also under the ecclesiastical 
and patriarchal dominion of the Czar. It 
appears, however, that the severe measures 
adopted with this intention, in regard to the 
Jews in that empire, have been considerably 
softened during these last years, more espe- 
cially since Sir Moses Montefiore's journey to 
Russia, undertaken with a view of inducing 
the Czar to look more favourably on his 
Israelitish subjects. However that may be, 
the oppressive measures of Russia have, ac« 
cording to some extraordinary accounts of the 
interior of this empire, produced in the last 
half-century much the same results as those 
brought about by the persecutions and forced 
conversions of Catholic Spain in the Middle 
Ages. It is said that the -influence of Jews 
who continue to hold in private the &ith they 
have in public forsaken, is not less important 
in Russia (where in the last few years it is 
calculated 3,000 have been baptized) than it 
was in bygone ages in the Spanish peninsula. 
From the highest to the lowest ranks of 
society, that is to say, from the smallest retail 
dealer in Poland to the general officer at 
Petersburgh, there is said to exist a line of 
Israelites in communication with each other, 
through whose hands pass the chief affairs of 



Digitized by 



Google 



608 POSITION OF thjE jews 

(he home departmeBt, as well as the faost 
important foreign n^otiations. The cele^ 
hrated Russian minister of finance, Cancrin, is 
said to have been, at least by birth, a Livonian 
Israelite. 

Sclavonic populations in general continiie to 
evince but small favour to the Jews. The 
lower we descend in Bohemian and Polish 
society, the more deeply rooted are the preju- 
dices against them. During the recent move- 
ments of the year 1848, to which, in Bohemia 
in particular, Jews of the modem school have 
lent their aid, they have nevertheless as a 
people had much to suffer from the demo- 
cratic party. The good-will of the Magyars 
towards them tad their political emancipation 
contrasts remarkably with the dislike evinced 
for them by the Sclavonic races, who form a 
considerable part of the Hungarian population. 
Hungary in general has been, almost from 
time immemorial, a very remarkable country 
for the dispersed children of Israel. They 
were considered an ancient people in this . 
remote country even in the eleventh century ; 
their collective numbers in the synagogues of 
Pesth, Presburg, Grosswardein, • Arad, and 
elsewhere, were calculated to amount to about 
270,000 souls. The Hungarian Jews, largely 



Digitized by 



Google 



F&aM 1789 TO 184a 609 

participating in the miseries and oppressions 
of their German and Sclayonic brethren, often 
fonnd magnanimous protectors among the 
Magyar magnates, such as the Counts Falfy, 
Bathjany, Erdody, Nadasdy, and Feleky. In 
reply to the addresses and propositions touch* 
ing the social condition of the Jews, all the 
magnates who sat in the diet of 1839-40 
declared themselves, with more or less restric- 
tion, and some without any reserve whatever, 
in favour of the political emancipation of the 
Jews. 

In Mahomedan countries, Asiatic and 
African, the relation between the Israelites on 
the one hand and the governments and people 
on the other, has progressed in exact propor- 
tion to the influence that Christianity and the 
growth of civilization have exercised on those 
countries. Still great, however, is the con« 
tempt in which Jews and Christians, and 
more particularly the former, are held by 
Mahomedan populations. But on the part of 
the governments of the viceroy of Egypt and 
of the Sultan of Constantinople, a gradually 
increasing favour has been exhibited to the 
Israelite. At one time only, in 1840, an 
accusation, which had long been unheard, was 
on the point of causing, in the East, a general 
D D 3 



Digitized by 



Google 



610 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

persecution of the Jews wherever such an 
accusation could find an echo. It will he 
recollected that, according to the terrihle 
calumny of the Middle Ages in Europe, the 
Israelites chose to celebrate the Passover with 
human blood, and for this purpose sought to 
carry off and sacrifice children, and even adults. 
At the time that we have particularized, a 
like accusation was levelled against the Jewish 
population in Syria, which at that period was 
under the rule of Mehemet Ali. A certain 
monk, named Father Thomas, who for thirty 
years had practised medicine at Damascus, had 
suddenly disappeared, and it was soon suspected 
that he had been assassinated. The French 
Consul, Count Menton, as one who considered it 
his peculiar business to watch over the interests 
of the Christians in Syria, made various re- 
searches into the matter, which, however, 
proved abortive. Gradually the r^ort spread 
that the monk had been last seen in the 
Jewish quarter ; they imagined they had dis- 
covered a clue to the crime. A Jewish barber 
was imprisoned, closely questioned, and pat 
to the torture. At last they extracted from 
him a confession to the effect that some of his 
brethren had tempted him, but vainly, by the 
offer of a sum of money, to assassinate Father 



Digitized by 



Google 



PROM 1789 TO 1848. 611 

Thomas. This denunciation, supported by no 
proof, and evidently absurd, was, as part of a 
chain of circumstances, considered important 
enough to authorize the arrest of all the 
Israelites whom the barber had named. 
These were chiefly members of the Spanish 
synagogue, some of distinguished families, 
amongst whom were the Peixotos, the re- 
spected consuls of several of the European 
powers. The aged and the weak sank under 
the horrible torments which were inflicted on 
the accused. Others allowed a false confes- 
sion to be drawn from them. Some in despair 
embraced Islamism, the rest persisted with 
constancy in their denial of guilt. The popu- 
lace, in the meantime, began to pillage the 
synagogues, and to torture the unhappy Jews 
as they liked, abetted by the police. This 
excitement of accusation and persecution 
spread from Damascus to other places, 
amongst these to Rhodes, and even in some 
parts of Poland similar disorders were appre* 
bended. 

Meanwhile, there arose from the synagogues 
of all parts protestations against the equally 
monstrous and cruel accusation which dared 
to impute to the Jews human sacrifices in 
their rites and mysteries. The European 



Digitized by 



Google 



612 POSITION OF THE JEWS 

powers interested tkemselves earnestly in their 
behalf, — France excepted, whose Goyemment 
preferred upholding the inexcusable conduct 
of its consul. England, on the contrary, 
distinguished itself for its zeal in calling for 
and accelerating a dispassionate examination of 
facts, in order to make palpable the indubitable 
innocence of the ill-treated Israelites. The 
interest and co-operation of all the different 
religious and political parties in Great Britain 
was general, when, on the 15th June, in the 
London synagogue, a large meeting of the 
Jews was convoked, to take efficacious 
measures in behalf of their brethren against 
the. horrible oppression from which they were 
suffering. Yet more remarkable was the 
unanimity on this occasion of the Emperor of 
Russia and the Government of the United 
States of America, who, in concert with Eng- 
land, expressed a determination that, once and 
for all, an end should be put to such abuses 
and such horrors. The meeting in London in 
the meantime had decisive results. Sir Moses 
Montefiore went in person with his wife to 
Syria, accompanied by some learned men, 
chiefly of the Jewish persuasion. He passed 
through France on his way, where he was 
joined by the celebrated advocate, Cr6mieux, 



Digitized by 



Google 



FROM 1789 TO 1848. 613 

who attended the expedition in the capacity 
of envoy from the French Jews. Sir Moses 
Montefiore, encouraged by th% importance 
of his mission, and upheld by the English 
Embassy and Consuls at Alexandria, soon 
obtained an audience, which Cr^mieux only 
effected much later, in consequence of the in- 
difference of the French Consul. 

The success of the deputation was complete. 
Supported by the representatives of all the 
European powers, always excepting France, a 
firman was obtained from the aged Fasha, 
ordering the release of nine Jews, who were 
imprisoned at Damascus. Cr^mieux having 
observed the word " pardon " had been made 
use of in the deed, and fearing that, if allowed 
to pass, the real question of their guilt might 
be considered undecided, persevered in his 
efforts until he had gotten it altered. Soon 
afterwards, on the 16th of September, 1840, 
the enlarged Jews were conducted in a pro- 
cession, in which even some of the Moslems 
joined, to the synagogue, wishing first to give 
thanks to the Almighty before they returned 
home to their families. Cr^mieux and Monte- 
fiore, who in all else held entirely different views, 
—the latter being a strict Talmudist, and the 
former a liberal in religion and politics, — 



Digitized by 



Google 



614 POSITION OF THE JEWB 

after their successful expedition, returned to 
their respective countries. Before his depar- 
ture, Cremieux endeavoured to obtain from 
the viceroy of Egypt the complete abolition 
of the use of judicial torture. He also took 
advantage of his sojourn in Cairo and Alex- 
andria to effect some reformations in the edu- 
cational department and in the management of 
the hospitals for the sick. Montefiore passed 
through Constantinople on his return, where 
he procured from the Sultan, Abdul Meschid, 
a firman, dated the 12th Ramazan, 1256, (or 
6th of November, 1840,) confirming the justi- 
fication of the Jews at Damascus, and providing 
for their safety in all parts of the Ottoman 
territory, particularly at Rhodes. Returning 
to England via Rome and Paris, Montefiore 
was, on this occasion, presented to Louis 
Philippe ; and, soon after he landed in Eng- 
land, he received from Jews and Christians of 
all classes demonstrations of the esteem in 
which they held him. The minutest particu- 
lars relative to the dreadful imputation of the 
celebration of the Jewish passover with human 
blood were afterwards fully explored by 
Israelitish and Christian writers, and thus 
exposed to merited obloquy. Nevertheless, a 
like accusation in the island of Marmora, in 



Digitized by 



Google 



FKOM 1789 TO 1848. 615 

1843, gave rise more lately to renewed mani- 
festations of hatred, ill-treatment, and perse- 
cution on the part of some misguided Greeks, 
to which a new judicial sentence finally put a 
term in the beginning of the following year. 

The land, towards which the hearts of many 
in Europe and America have turned during 
the last half-century, if not with stronger, at 
least with more enlightened aspirations, is 
situated within the territory which at this 
present time is under the jurisdiction of the 
Turkish Sovereign. It is Palestine, the land 
long promised to the remote posterity of the 
patriarchs of Israel ; it is^ the city of the great 
King which sitteth solitary. And now, 
behold, amongst those whose true patrimony 
it is, and in that city and that land, singular 
rumours are gradually gaining ground in the 
midst of the marvellous political vicissitudes of 
our age. They tell of the possibility of 
restoring Palestine to the seven millions* of 

• Of these seven, or (according to other less probably 
correct calculations) five, millions, rather more than 
a third are to be found in Europe. We have already 
mentioned the number in Russia, calculated by some 
to be still higher. In the Austrian states there are said 
to be 700,000, in Russia 200,000, in France 84,000, 
in England 80,000, in the Netherlands 60,000,— of whom 
30,000 are settled at Amsterdam,~in Turkey 800,000, 



Digitized by 



Google 



616 THE PROSPECTS OF ISRAEL. 

the posterity of Abraham, who are scattered 
throughout the world, either by means of 
purchase, or by negotiation, when the great 
problems of European policy shall be solved. 
They tell of the pos^bility of the rebuilding of 
the temple, and restoration of Jerusalem to the 
Jews. 

Such rumours are in themselves vague and 
ephemeral ; and, moreover, it is not the first 
time that they have been heard in the great 
epochs in history, which have been followed 
by events fulfilling striking and ancient pre* 
dictions. But we have " a more sure word of 
prophecy," where, many times repeated, we 
find the reply to this question: — What destiny 
is reserved in futurity for the scattered seed of 
Israel, preserved from destruction during so 
many ages ? Will Israel be kept from age to 
age, to the end of days, in a more or less 
modified, but always isolated and grievous 
position among the nations 1 Or will it, as the 
consequence of the civilization and pi*ogressive . 
revolutions of a small but important section of 
mankind, eventually lose its nationality, and 

in Arabia 200,000, in Africa 600,000, in the United 
States 50,000, in Persia, China, and India 600,000, — 
exdusive, according to general opinion, of the ten 
tribes. 



Digitized by 



Google 



THB PROSPECTS OF ISBAEL. 617 

become absorbed among the various races of 
the five great divisions of the earth 1 The 
probability or the improbability of these events 
might afford a curious theme for speculation, 
had not the question been already decided 
with equal clearness and certainty for Jew 
and Christian, — at least, for such as believe in 
the prophetic word of the God who cannot lie. 
We have repeated in these pages more than 
once, that Israel is the only nation whose 
history, not only of the past and present, but 
also of the future, has been positively and 
circumstantially written. This history of the 
future will be the final solution and the crown 
of all the prophecies, accomplished and still un« 
accomplished, of the Old and New Testament 
From Moses to Malachi all the prophets, from 
the beginning to the end, have been unanimous 
in foretelling the great miseries and the 
terrible judgments that the Israelites should 
suffer during their long dispersion, by reason 
of their manifold sins ; and, above all, that one 
sin, — ^the rejection of God in Christ. Unani- 
mous, also, were they in terminating their 
predictions and descriptions with that of the 
conversion of the children of Israel to the 
Lord their God, their national restoration 
under the sceptre of the Messiah their King, 



Digitized by 



Google 



618 THE PB08PECT8 OP IS&AXi;. 

tbeir happiness and thdr splendour among, 
and for the benefit of, all the nations upon the 
earth, renewed and henceforth to be covered 
with the knowledge of the Lord. 

The same Moses who painted in such 
terrible colours their general dispersion, their 
boundless and unexampled misery, foretels, in 
indissoluble connexion with these judgments, 
the mercy and final restoration in store for 
them in the end. After having, as we may 
say, poured out the cup of wrath and denunci- 
ation on rebellious Israel in the prophecies of 
the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth chapters of 
Deuteronomy, to the complete fulfilment of 
which we have drawn attention in the course 
of this history, he continues immediately, as if 
in the same breath : ^^And it shall come to pass, 
when all these things are come upon thee, the 
blessing and tha curse, which I have set before 
thee, and thou ahhlt call them to mind among 
all the nations, whither the Lord thy God 
hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the 
liOrd thy God, and shalt obey his voice accord- 
ing to all that I command thee this day, thou 
and thy children, with all thine heart, and 
with all thy soul ; that then the Lord thy God 
will turn thy captivity, and have compassion 
upon thee, and will return and gather thee 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE PROSPECTS OF ISRAEL. 619 

from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God 
hath scattered thee. If any of thine he driven ont 
unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence 
will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from 
thence will he fetch thee : and the Lord thy 
God will hring thee into the land which thy 
fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess 
it, and he will do thee good, and multiply 
thee ahove thy fathers. And the Lord thy 
God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart 
of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all 
thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou 
mayest live. And the Lord thy God will put 
all these curses upon thine enemies, and on 
them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. 
And thou shalt return, and obey the voice of 
the Lord, and do all his commandments which 
I command thee this day. And the Lord thy 
God will make thee plenteous in every work 
of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in 
the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy 
land, for good : for the Lord will again rejoice 
over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy 
fathers: if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of 
the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments 
and his statutes which are written in this book 
of the law, and if thou turn unto the Ixftd 
thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy 
j50ul." (Deut. XXX. 1—10.) 



Digitized by 



Google 



620 THE PBOSPEcrrs of is&ael. 

And in this again the prophets hannonisse 
with Moses. In them, also, immediately follow* 
ing and inseparably connected with the 
terrible judgments whose divine trat^ has 
been attested by the history of more than 
eighteen centuries, all the oracles of the Old 
Testament conclude with promises and descrip- 
tions of the felicity of the whole earth which 
shall then be, of the re-adoption and re- 
establishment of Israel, whose greatness and 
glory is to exceed that of the past. '^Fcht 
the children of Israel," says the Prophet 
Hosea, (iii. 4, 5,) shall abide many days with- 
out a king, and without a prince, and without 
a sacrifice, and without an image, and' without 
an ephod, and without teraphim: afterwards 
shall the children of Israel return, and seek 
the Lord their God, and David their king; 
and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in 
the latter days." And again, Zechariah says, 
(xii. 10,) " And I will pour upon the house of 
David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 
the spirit of grace and of supplications ; and 
they shaU look upon me whom they have 
pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one 
mourneth for his only son, and shall be in 
bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness 
for his first-bom." And again, chap. xiii. 1 : 
— ^* In that time shall be a fountain opened 



Digitized by 



Google 



TBE PB0SPECT8 OF ISRABL. 621 

to the house of David and to the inhahitants of 
Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness ; " in 
that day when, under the reign of Him who 
*^ shall come forth a rod out of the stem of 
Jesse," ^* the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, 
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid," 
and ^* the earth shall be full of the knowledge 
of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea ; " in 
that day it shall come to pass that the Lord 
*^ shall set up an ensign for the nations, and 
shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and 
gather together the dispersed of Judah from 
the four comers of the earth ; " and ^' there 
shall be an highway for the remnant of his 
people, which shall be left from Assyria; like 
as it was to Israel in the day that he came up 
out of the land of Egypt And in that day 
thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: 
though thou wast angry with me, thine anger 
is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. 
Behold, God is my salvation ; I will trust, and 
not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my 
strength and my song r he also is become my 
salvation." (Isaiah xL 16, andxii. 1, 2.) AU 
the twelve tribes are to have part in this glory, 
for '* Thus saith the Lord God ; Behold, I will 
take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand 
of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his 
fellows, and will put them with him, even 



Digitized by 



Google 



622 THE FBOSFECTS OF ISRAEL^ 

with the stick of Judah, and make them one 
stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. 
And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be 
in thine hand before their eyes. And say nnto 
them, Thus saith the Lord God ; Behold, I will 
take the children of Israel from among the 
heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather 
them on every side, and bring them into their 
own land : and I will make them one nation 
in the land upon the mountains of Israel ; and 
one king shall be king to them all : and they 
shall be no more two nations, neither shall 
they be divided into two kingdoms any more 
at all: neither shall they defile themselves 
any more with their idols, nor with their 
detestable things, nor with any of their trans- 
gressions : but I will save them out of all their 
dwelling-places, wherein they have sinned, and 
will cleanse them : so shall they be my people, 
and I will be their God. And David my 
servant shall be king over them ; and they aU 
shall have one shepherd : they shall also walk 
in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and 
do them. And they shall dwell in the land 
that I have given unto Jacob my servant, 
wherein your fathers have dwelt; and 
they shall dwell therein, even they, and 
their children, and their children's chil- 
dren for ever; and my servant David shaU 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE FROSFECTQ OF ISRAEL. 623 

be their prince for ever. Moreover^ I will 
make a covenant of peace with them ; it shall 
be an everlasting covenant with them : and I 
will place them, and multiply them, and will 
set my sanctuary in the midst of them for 
evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with 
them : yea, I will be their God, and they shall 
be my people. And the heathen shall know 
that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when 
my sanctuary shall be in the midst of 
them for evermore." (Ezek. xxxvii 19 — 28.) 
Thus shall be also gloriously accomplished 
another prophecy: — "He will turn again, hd 
will have compassion on us; he will subdue 
our iniquities, and thou wilt cast all their 
sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt 
perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy 
to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our 
fathers from the days of old." These are a 
few striking passages chosen] from those in 
which the Old Testament abounds, relating to 
the future, for which Israel still waits, and 
which shall complete and carry out the great 
theme which pervades the word of prophecy 
from beginning to end. Who shall dare to 
say. that these things have been already 
fulfilled, not, it is true, literally to the actual 
descendants of Israel, but in a (so-called) 



Digitized by 



Google 



624 THE PBOSPEGTS OF IS&AEL. 

spiritual sense, to the Christian Church, inas- 
much as she has taken Israel's place under the 
covenant of the New Testament t As if the 
Lord himself had not maintained and sealed 
the application of all his promises to Israel as 
a people, to the descendants of Ahraham ac- 
cording to the flesh, eyen at the very moment 
when be was taken up to heaven from the midst 
of his apostles. To their question^ (Acts i. 6,) 
" Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again 
the kingdom to Israel V His reply is by no 
means negative as to the fact of restoration, 
but by the very delay it indicates is rather 
affirmative for the future: " It is not for you 
to know the times and seasons which the 
Father has put in his own power." (Ver. 7.) 
Already he had promised to his twelve apostles 
to sit upon the twelve thrones to judge the 
twelve tribes of Israel in the time of the rege- 
neration. (Matt. xix. 28.) Who shall separate 
what God hath joined ? In Holy Writ, in the 
Old Testament, the same prophetic Word tells 
of the miseries and of the glories of the same 
Israel! Who has given us the right, while 
contemplating the actual, literal, and complete 
fulfilment of the prophetic judgments on the 
Hebrews, to alter suddenly the principle of 
interpretation, where the curse is changed into 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE PROSPECTS OF ISRAEL. 625 

a promise, humiliation into glory, the ana- 
thema into a blessing? Who gives ns the 
right by an arbitrary exegesis to apply the 
promises to the Christian Church of the Gen- 
tiles, when the judgments evidently could not 
have been intended for them ? 

And all this becomes still more manifest, 
when we consider this promise of a national 
conversion of the Jews and the restoration of 
the kingdom of Israel, in connexion with the 
promise of the Great King, the Messiah Himself, 
during so many ages before, as well as after 
His coming in the flesh, the object of the ex- 
pectation of all who in Israel believed in the 
Divine authority of prophecy. A King reign- 
ing in glory and power over the house of 
Jacob from century to century ! This was the 
promise transmitted from age to age, from 
prophet to prophet in Israel. This was the 
expectation of the Hebrews, misconceived by 
them, because they comprehended not the 
sufferings by which this King ought to enter 
into His glory. Now, then, the King has come. 
He has obtained their deliverance by His 
sufferings. Is the glory, therefore, less surely 
promised, less certain to follow 1 By faith in 
a crucified King, the expectation of the glori- 
fied King becomes legitimate and acceptable 

£ £ 



Digitized by 



Google 



626 THE PROSPECTS OF ISRAEL. 

in the sight of God. Jesus is this King, not 
only spiritually reigning over hearts and minds, 
not only in Heaven, and over His invisible 
Church, but also some day upon the earth, 
over his own people and country, and thence 
over all nations, " from sea even to sea, 
and from the river even to the ends of the 
earth." The kingdom that the Angel Gabriel 
announced to Mary for the Son of the Most 
High, who should derive his human nature 
from her, (Luke i. 32, 33,) is absolutely the 
same which the Prophet Isaiah promises to 
the family of David, and to the house of 
Jacob. This was the kingdom anciently sung 
by psalmists and prophets, looked for by all 
the faithful in the days of old, sketched and 
prefigured in the ordering of the tabemade 
and the temple, in the institution of priest 
and king, — a kingdom descending from 
heaven upon earth, but not less real, visible, 
and palpable, than those four monarchies seen 
by Daniel in the visions of the night, to 
which the Jewish monarchy, under Jesus 
Christ, bom and crucified King of the Jews, 
comes to put an end. The New Testament, 
wliich never annihilates, but always fulfils 
the promises of the Old, has certainly not 
changed the nature of this last kingdom- 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE PROSPECTS OF ISRAEL. 627 

It is still " the kingdom of our Eather David," 
(Mark xi. 10.) It is with respect to this 
kingdom that the apostle of the Gentiles, in 
his last Epistle, and in his last hour, exclaimed 
once more, " Remember that Jesus Christ, of 
the seed of David, was raised from the dead, 
according to my Gospel;" and when Saint 
John contemplates, in the heavens which were 
opened unto him, this King as the Lamb 
thaf was slain, he announces him as ^^ the 
Lion of Judah, who has prevailed." (Rev. 
V. 6.) And Jesus Himself, at the end of this 
same opened book of prophecy, calls Himself 
" the root and the offspring of David," and 
" the bright and morning star." (Rev. xxii. 16.) 
There is then a future for Israel! — for the 
long-disgraced outcasts an approaching glory ! 
— and this future, and this glory, are inti- 
mately connected with the happiness and the 
salvation of all nations : the reign of the Mes- 
siah will not be an exclusive one, He will 
not revenge Himself on the Gentiles as Gen- 
tiles, as carnal Israel, denying the cross of 
Christ, has imagined. As little will it be 
a reign over a purely typical Israel. But 
the wall of separation will be thrown down, 
and Israel and the regenerate nations will 
triumph together over the Gentiles -who 



Digitized by 



Google 



628 THE PROSPECTS OF ISRAEL. 

have forgotten God, and who oppose the 
kingdom of Christ. Tsrael's King will be 
King of all nations. The receiving of Israel 
shall be to all people " life from the dead ;" 
(Rom. xi* 15 ;) an^ thus " the Lord shall 
be. King over all the *arth:' for in that day 
there shall be one Lord, and his name one." 
(Zech. xiv. 9.) 



V.-futiT, Great Nrw-strert. Londun. ^ . 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google